The Sustainability Agenda

Hosted ByFergal Byrne

Exploring today's sustainability questions with leading experts.

Episode 44: China as an environmental leader? Interview with Isabel Hilton, founder and editor of

In episode 44 of the Sustainability Agenda, China Dialogue founder Isabel Hilton gives an overview of China’s emergence as a key environmental actor on the world stage and assesses China’s recent environmental engagement (and motivations). Isabel talks about how the Chinese government exercises control in matters environmental – and some of the particular challenges the government faces- and situates its growing environmental commitment against a background of changing industrial strategy, and movement into more value-added technologies. She distinguishes between China’s domestic and international environmental commitments, in particular, with respect to global warming. Looking to the future, Isabel draws lessons from China’s environmental policies, in particular for the current US administration, and identifies some tell-tale signs we should look for to assess China’s evolving environmental commitments.

Isabel Hilton is a London-based international journalist and broadcaster. She is founder and editor of, a non-profit, fully bilingual online publication based in London, Beijing, and Delhi that focuses on the environment and climate change. She is the author and co-author of several books and was awarded the OBE for her work in raising environmental awareness in China. As a journalist, Isabel has worked for The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian, and the New Yorker. In 1992 she became a presenter of the BBC’s flagship news program, “The World Tonight,” then BBC Radio Three’s cultural program “Night Waves.” She is a columnist for The Guardian and her work has appeared in the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Granta, the New Statesman, El Pais, Index on Censorship, and many other publications.

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