Department of Geography and Resource Management (GRM), The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Prof. XU Yuan

Faculty Member

Prof. XU Yuan

Associate Professor

BSc, MSc (Peking)
PhD (Princeton)

(852) 3943-6647 Visit personal website > Download CV >


As a principal investigator (PI)

  1. June 2019 – June 2021, Research Sustainability of Major RGC Funding Schemes (RSFS): China Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Title: Matching CO2 Sources and Storage Sites along the Maritime Silk Road; Total amount: HK$480,000. (Co-Investigators: Anatole Boute (CUHK), Carlos Lo (CUHK), Jing Song (CUHK), Christine Loh (CUHK), Jin Shang (CityU), Michael Tsimplis (CityU), Lei Zhu (Beihang U), Daejun Chang (KAIST), Steve Wright (HBKU, Qatar))
  2. July 2018 – Jun 2020, Direct Grant for Research, Social Science Panel, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Title: China-India Technology Collaboration for Renewable Energy under the Belt and Road Initiative; Total amount: HK$100,000. (Co-Investigator: Shreekant Gupta (University of Delhi))
  3. Jan 2018 – Dec 2018, Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Research Development Fund; Title: Wind or Solar? The Political Economy of Fuel Competition between Renewables; Total amount: £10,000 (plus £10,002 matching fund); (co-investigators: Tihomir Ancev (Sydney), Anatole Boute (CUHK), Chunbo Ma (UWA), Peter G. Taylor (Leeds), Chu Wei (RUC), Armida Alisjahbana (UNPAD), Gilles Lepesant (CNRS), Rainer Quitzow (IASS), Hideaki Shiroyama (Tokyo), David Victor (UCSD))
  4. Jan 2017 – Dec 2019, General Research Fund, Hong Kong Research Grants Council; Title: Integrating satellite data for compliance monitoring on CO2, SO2 and NOx in China’s emission hotspots: A case study; Total amount: HK$907,488
  5. Jan 2016 – Dec 2017, Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2015/16, Hong Kong Research Grants Council; Title: The National Strategies in China and Germany to Utilize Solar Energy and Develop Photovoltaic Industries; Total: HK$89,600; German collaborator: Prof MÖST Dominik from Technische Universität Dresden.
  6. Jan 2016 – Dec 2017, General Research Fund, Hong Kong Research Grants Council; Title: Measuring and narrowing the gaps between reality and the ideal: residential black carbon mitigation in rural China; Total amount: HK$390,000; (Additional funding: Jan 2016 – Jun 2017, Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme, Faculty of Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Total amount: HK$246,413)
  7. Apr 2015 – Dec 2015, Research Fund on Evaluating and Managing Environmental Performance in China, The Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, The Ministry of Environmental Protection of China; Title: Theoretical exploration on managing environmental performance; Total amount: RMB 80,000
  8. Aug 2015 – Jul 2016, National Geographic Air and Water Conservation Fund, National Geographic Society; Title: Repair the roof before it rains — Regulating water consumption and pollution for shale gas development in Xinjiang; Total amount: US$17,625
  9. Jun 2015 – Nov 2015, Public Policy Research Funding Scheme, Central Policy Unit; Title: Enforcing and Complying with Voluntary Agreements as an Alternative Environmental Policy Instrument; Total amount: HK$195,332
  10. Sep 2014 – Aug 2016, South China Programme, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Title: Defining the Relationship between the Sate and the Market for Effective Pollutant Emission Trading in China; Total amount: HK$151,080
  11. May 2014 – Dec 2014, Grant for Applying Environmental Strategic Research, The Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, The Ministry of Environmental Protection of China; Title: Theories for managing the performance of environmental governance; Total amount: RMB 100,000
  12. Aug 2014 – Jul 2016, Social Science Collaborative Research Fund, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Title: Conformists or Deviants? – The Behavior and Underlying Mechanisms of Polluting Firms in the Pearl River Delta Region; Total amount: HK$172,074

As a co-investigator (co-I)

  1. Jan 2012 – Aug 2016, National Basic Research Program of China (“973”); Title: The mechanism complexity, the new integrated assessment model and policy simulation platform on climate change economics; Total amount: RMB20,000,000; Code: 2012CB955800


Journal Articles

Pan, G., Y. Xu*, J. Ma, 2021. The potential of CO2 satellite monitoring for climate governance: A review. Journal of Environmental Management, 277: 111423.

Chung, S.Y., Y. Xu *, 2020. Reliability and resilience in a regulated electricity market: Hong Kong under Typhoon Mangkhut. Utilities Policy, 67: 101134.

Wong, T.Y., Y. Xu *, Y. Chang, 2020. Cross-Boundary Air Pollution Control under “One Country, Two Systems”: Perspectives from Hong Kong-Guangdong Collaboration, The Singapore Economic Review. 65(03):601-625.

Wang, Y.Q., Yang, H.Z., Liu, J.F., Xu, Y., Wang, X.J., Ma, J.M., Xu, J.Y., Yi, K., Tao, S., 2020. Analysis of multiple drivers of air pollution emissions in China via interregional trade. Journal of Cleaner Production, 244.

Xu, Y.*, T. Ancev, R. Betz, 2019. Sustainable Energy Transition toward Renewables: Drivers and Hurdles. Energy Policy. 134: 110959.

Li, A., Y.Xu *, H. Shiroyama, 2019. Solar lobby and energy transition in Japan. Energy Policy. 134: 110950.

Zhu, L., Y. Xu *, Y. Pan, 2019. Enabled comparative advantage strategy in China’s solar PV development. Energy Policy. 133: 110880.

Yao, X., Y. Fan, Y. Xu, X. Zhang, L. Zhu, L. Feng, 2019. Is it worth to invest? -An evaluation of CTL-CCS project in China based on real options. Energy. 182:920-931.

Guo, M., Y. Xu, Y. D. Chen, 2019. Environmental enforcement and compliance in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale gas development. Resources, Conservation & Recycling. 144: 24–31.

Guo, M., Y. Xu*, 2018. Coal-to-liquids projects in China under water and carbon constraints. Energy Policy. 117: 58-65.

Yang, H., J. Liu, K. Jiang, J. Meng, D. Guan, Y. Xu, S. Tao, 2018. Multi-objective analysis of the co-mitigation of CO2 and PM2.5 pollution by China’s iron and steel industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. 185: 331-341.

Kwok, T.F., Y. Xu*, ​X. Liu, Y. Leung, 2018. The impacts of economic structure on China’s carbon dioxide emissions: an analysis with reference to other East Asian Economies. Climate Policy. 18(10): 1235-1245.

Zhang, W., Z. Lu, Y. Xu, C. Wang, Y. Gu, H. Xu, D. G. Streets, 2018. Black carbon emissions from biomass and coal in rural China. Atmospheric Environment. 176: 158–170.

Zhang, W., A. Li, Y. Xu*, J. Liu, 2018. The theory-practice gap of black carbon mitigation technologies in rural China. Atmospheric Environment. 174:122-131.

Liu, X., Y. Leung, Y. Xu, L. C. W. Yung, 2017. The effect of carbon tax on carbon emission abatement and GDP: a case study. Journal of Geographical Systems. 19(4): 399-414.

Kwok, T. F., C. H. Yeung, Y. Xu *, 2017. Swaying Public Opinion on Nuclear Energy: A Field Experiment in Hong Kong. Utilities Policy. 46: 48-57.

Xu, Y. *, 2017. Climate Change as a Flagship Opportunity for Domestic Governance. Environmental Science & Technology.51(4):1946–1947.

Liu, X., Z. Yuan, Y. Xu, S. Jiang, 2017. Greening cement in China: A cost-effective roadmap. Applied Energy. 189: 233-244.

Kwok, T. F., Y. Xu*, P. T. Wong, 2017. Complying with Voluntary Energy Conservation Agreements (II): Lighting in Hong Kong’s Shopping Malls. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 117: 225-234.

Kwok, T. F., Y. Xu*, P. T. Wong, 2017. Complying with Voluntary Energy Conservation Agreements (I): Air Conditioning in Hong Kong’s Shopping Malls. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 117: 213-224.

He, G.*, H. Zhang*, Y. Xu*, X. Lu*, 2017. China’s clean power transition: Current status and future prospect. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 121: 3-10.

He, G., H. Zhang, Y. Xu, X. Lu, 2017. Editorial: Clean power transition in China. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 121: 1-2.

Guo, M., Y. Xu*, Y. D. Chen, 2017. Catching environmental noncompliance in shale gas development in China and the United States. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 121:73-81

Meng, J., J. Liu, Y. Xu, D. Guan, Y. Huang, S. Tao, 2016. Globalization and Pollution: Tele-connecting Local Primary PM2.5 Emissions to Global Consumption. Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 472: 20160380.

Guo, M., X. Lu, C. P. Nielsen, M. B. McElroy, W. Shi, Y. Chen, Y. Xu, 2016. Prospects for Shale Gas Production in China: Demands for Water. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review. 66: 742–750.

Xu, Y.*, J. Liu*, 2016. Evaluating and addressing the leakage problems of black carbon mitigation in China’s domestic sector, Environmental Science & Technology. 50(11): 5434–5435.

Li, Y., J. Meng, J. Liu*, Y. Xu, D. Guan, W. Tao, Y. Huang, S. Tao, 2016. Interprovincial Reliance for Improving Air Quality in China: A Case Study on Black Carbon Aerosol, Environmental Science & Technology, 50 (7): 4118–4126.

Wang, H., Z. Dong*, Y. Xu*, C. Ge, 2016. Eco-compensation for Watershed Services in China, Water International, 41(2): 271-289.

Zhang, B.*, H. Fei, P. He, Y. Xu*, Z. Dong, O. R. Young, 2016. The Indecisive Role of the Market in China’s SO2 and COD Emissions Trading Markets, Environmental Politics, 25(5): 875-898.

Cui, Y.-Z., Lin, J.-T., Song, C., Liu, M.-Y., Yan, Y.-Y., Xu, Y., and Huang, B., 2016. Rapid growth in nitrogen dioxide pollution over Western China, 2005–2013, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 6207–6221.

Xu, Y.*, G. Liu, 2015. Carbon capture and storage for Hong Kong’s fuel mix. Utilities Policy, 36: 43-45

Meng, J., J. Liu*, Y. Xu, S. Tao, 2015. Tracing Primary PM2.5 emissions via Chinese supply chains. Environmental Research Letters, 10(5): 054005.

Wu, D., Y. Xu*, Y. Leung, and C.-W. Yung, 2015. The Behavioral Impacts of Firm-level Energy-conservation Goals in China’s 11th Five-Year Plan. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(1):85–92.

Wu, D., Y. Xu, S. Zhang, 2015. Will joint regional air pollution control be more cost-effective? An empirical study of China’s Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region. Journal of Environmental Management, 149:27–36.

Guo, M. Y., Y. Xu* and Y. Q. D. Chen, 2014. Fracking and Pollution: Can China Rescue Its Environment in Time? Environmental Science & Technology, 48(2): 891-892.

Xu, Y. *, 2013. Comparative advantage strategy for rapid pollution mitigation in China, Environmental Science & Technology, 47 (17): 9596–9603

Wu, F. *, Y. Xu, 2013. Sino-American Environmental Relations: The potential of Trans-Societal Linkages. Issues and Studies, 49(3): 73–110

Xu, Y.*, Yang, C.-J., and Xuan, X., 2013. Engineering and optimization approaches to enhance the thermal efficiency of coal electricity generation in China, Energy Policy, 60: 356–363.

Xu, Y.*, 2013. Using performance indicators to reduce cost uncertainty of China’s CO2 mitigation goals, Energy Policy, 53: 454–461.

Xu, Y. *, 2011. China’s functioning market for sulfur dioxide scrubbing technologies, Environmental Science & Technology, 45(21): 9161–9167.

Xu, Y. *, 2011. Improvements in the operation of SO2 scrubbers in China’s coal power plants, Environmental Science & Technology, 45(2): 380–385.

Xu, Y. *, 2011. The use of a goal for SO2 mitigation planning and management in China’s 11th Five-Year Plan, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 54(6): 769-783.

Xu, Y. *, R.H. Williams, R.H. Socolow, 2009. China’s Rapid Deployment of SO2 Scrubbers, Energy and Environmental Science, 2, 459-465.


Underlined names indicate my students or postdocs; * indicates corresponding author


Xu, Y., 2021. Environmental Policy and Air Pollution in China: Governance and Strategy, Routledge, London. 1st edition. 212 pages. [Open Access. Download the eBook:]


Link to ORCiD

Link to Scopus

Teaching Fields

  • Energy Resources, Conversion, and Consumption
  • Environmental Protection (Science, Technology and Policy)
  • Sustainable Development

Research interests

  • Environmental Policy, Governance and Strategy
  • Energy Transition and Climate Mitigation
  • Political Economy


Compliance monitoring for air pollution and climate policy enforcement: technology and governance

Policy, governance and strategy for energy transition, air pollution control and climate mitigation: Modeling, assessment and political economy

The use of science and technology in energy and environmental policy