Introduction Climate change is without doubt one of the most complex political arenas that the Chinese Party-state has dealt with in recent years. It engages multiple action arenas and spans a host of administrative departments and organisations at multiple levels and with multiple interests at stake. Like elsewhere in the world (see Bulkeley and Newell 2010; Bäckstrand 2008; Kern and Alber 2008), it also engages multiple internal and external stakeholders from Party, state, society and business. The city level is most critical in this respect since China’s cities, again like elsewhere, are responsible for the major share (80 per cent) of China’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (ADB 2008: 44) (70 per cent when measuring only energy-related emissions (Baeumler et al. 2012: xxxix)). It therefore makes sense to analyse the approach to climate politics in China by studying how city governments handle this political arena. China’s accelerating decentralisation over the last 30 years adds to the relevance of such an approach since it has left China’s sub-national governments with considerable discretionary power to design and implement policies themselves (Yang 2013; Heberer and Senz 2011; Zheng 2006). Cities are likely to use their status and power to pursue their own approach to the implementation of climate policies within the frameworks laid out by the central government. The aim of this chapter is to examine whether the fragmented authoritarianism (FA) framework (Lieberthal and Oksenberg 1988) can help explain the approach of city governments in China to climate politics.2 I propose that FA theory continues to be useful for examining and explaining the drivers and dynamics of the Partystate’s approach, but based on international experience I also speculate that climate politics may become a game changer that pushes the Chinese Party-state towards new modes of governance, due to the need for greater internal coordination as well as for active engagement with external stakeholders to tackle climate change. I have chosen Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province in eastern China, as a case study due to the primacy the city has accorded environmental and climate politics over time (Delman 2014). First, I will discuss the relevance of the FA framework and how it addresses state-society relations in China. I will then examine the relationship between FA

theory and climate governance, and subsequently examine specific dimensions of climate politics and climate governance in Hangzhou. Finally, I discuss what climate politics does to China’s fragmented authoritarian Party-state system (FAPS), to state-society relations, and what the implications are for FA theory.