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Yixian Sun

University of Bath

Based in

United Kingdom

Yixian Sun is an associate professor in international development at the University of Bath. He holds a PhD in international relations and political science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. Yixian studies transnational governance and sustainable development in the Global South. His work helps explain the changing roles of emerging economies (especially China) in global climate and environmental governance. He is the author of Certifying China: The Rise and Limits of Transnational Sustainability Governance in Emerging Economies (MIT Press, 2022) and has published research articles on environmental and climate politics in leading scientific journals.

Country(ies) of Specialty


Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Net Zero Renewable energy Agriculture

How to Connect



Sun, Yixian. Certifying China: The Rise and Limits of Transnational Sustainability Governance in Emerging Economies. MIT Press, 2022. direct.mit.edu, https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/14192.001.0001.

Sun, Y., Lewis, J. I., & Urpelainen, J. “Environmental Governance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” Environmental Politics, vol. 32, no. 7, Nov. 2023, pp. 1109–16. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2023.2251372

Sun, Yixian, and Natalie Page. “Climate-Biodiversity Nexus in Transnational Climate Governance: Variation across Net Zero Initiatives.” Carbon Management, vol. 15, no. 1, Jan. 2024, p. 2306895. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, https://doi.org/10.1080/17583004.2024.2306895.

Sun, Yixian, and Bowen Yu. “Greening China’s Belt and Road Initiative: From Norm Localization to Norm Subsidiarity?” Global Environmental Politics, vol. 23, no. 1, Feb. 2023, pp. 91–116. Silverchair, https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00685.

van der Ven, Hamish, et al. “Sustainable Commodity Governance and the Global South.” Ecological Economics, vol. 186, Aug. 2021, p. 107062. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107062.

Wang, Ying, et al. “No More Coal Abroad! Unpacking the Drivers of China’s Green Shift in Overseas Energy Finance.” Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 111, May 2024, p. 103456. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2024.103456.

Andonova, Liliana B., and Yixian Sun. “Private Governance in Developing Countries: Drivers of Voluntary Carbon Offset Programs.” Global Environmental Politics, vol. 19, no. 1, Feb. 2019, pp. 99–122. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00496.

Biermann, Frank, et al. “Four Governance Reforms to Strengthen the SDGs.” Science, vol. 381, no. 6663, Sept. 2023, pp. 1159–60. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1126/science.adj5434.

Chelminski, Kathryn, et al. “Emergence and Structuring of the Clean Energy Regime Complex.” Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, vol. 28, no. 4, Dec. 2022, pp. 587–616. brill.com, https://doi.org/10.1163/19426720-02804005.

Fesenfeld, Lukas P., et al. “The Role and Limits of Strategic Framing for Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Policy.” Global Environmental Change, vol. 68, May 2021, p. 102266. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102266.

Schleifer, Philip, and Yixian Sun. “Emerging Markets and Private Governance: The Political Economy of Sustainable Palm Oil in China and India.” Review of International Political Economy, vol. 25, no. 2, Mar. 2018, pp. 190–214. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2017.1418759.