CliSAP successfully finished in 2018. Climate research continues in the Cluster of Excellence "CLICCS".

Visiting CliSAP: Chen Wang


Guest researcher Chen Wang’s present research topic is one highly relevant for policymakers: The doctoral candidate in Sociology is exploring carbon emissions trading and – more specifically – strategies used by enterprises under carbon quota constraints. Chen Wang hails from the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), where she studies at the Center for Energy & Environmental Policy Research (CEEP), School of Management and Economics. She was invited by Prof. Anita Engels, sociologist and CliSAP Chair, to join us for a one-year research stay.

What do you find fascinating about climate research?
In my homeland, climate research is a hot and crucial topic, as China is now at a turning point where environmental and economic problems need to be balanced. I attended some lectures on energy and the environment when I was a master student, and they were very interesting. The climate and environmental issues can be considered from different angles: The perspectives of companies may be very different from those of governments or individuals. In some cases they are nearly opposite, while in others, they seem to overlap.

What would be an example of your research on companies?
I have written a paper exploring the impact of carbon emissions trading on both the trading participants’ profits and the industry’s output. The carbon emissions trading scheme is one of the main means of achieving emissions reduction goals, in the context of addressing climate change. The paper uses the game theory model, namely a duopoly model.

What made you select Hamburg and the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP for your stay abroad?

The Chinese Scholarship Council offered me the chance to study abroad, funding my stay at CliSAP. I had read some papers on carbon trading written by Professor Anita Engels, who also does a great deal of research on companies’ perspectives. I contacted her and, as she is also interested in the environmental problems affecting China, I was given the opportunity to come here.  

Can you summarize your research plan for your time in Hamburg in a nutshell?

I have just begun a comparative research project on how companies are conceptualized in Western and Chinese journals. Chinese problems have attracted much more in the past few years, with many papers, whether written by Western or Chinese researchers, mentioning Chinese companies. But the question is: What exactly constitutes a Chinese company, and are there any key differences between different researchers’ definitions? In addition, I will continue my research on strategies used by companies under carbon quota constraints.

What can CliSAP researchers gain from your expertise? And what will you take home when you go?
Hopefully I can help my colleagues at CliSAP when it comes to Chinese issues, including CO2 emissions, carbon emissions trading in China, and related data on China. Of course, I personally hope to learn more about new methodologies and how to use advanced analysis tools, though to me, finding a meaningful issue is of more importance. In my opinion, research should be issue-oriented rather than methodology-oriented. It’s crucial to find an issue which is both interesting to you and broadly meaningful. Many researchers in China have excellent skills when it comes to calculation and modelling, but seem to lack the ability to identify key issues. As such, you will often find researchers who are studying an old issue with the help of highly complex models. So I really hope to broaden my horizons during this year in Hamburg.

Chen Wang
Grindelberg 5, room 2009
Website of CEEP