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Key Issues in China’s Energy and Environmental Strategies: Trends on Natural Gas Pricing, Energy Efficiency, and Market Integration along OBOR, and China’s Green Building Development

Date: 1 March 2017
Time:  2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Venue:  ESI Conference Room [By Invitation Only]


In this seminar, three visiting Ph.D. candidates from China share their researches on the following topics: (a) natural gas pricing, (b) market integration and energy efficiency in the countries under China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, and (c) the social and psychological factors behind the development of green buildings in China.

A Cross Country Study on the International Natural Gas Pricing Mechanism
Ms. SHI Min
Research Institute of Economics and Management (RIEM),

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, China

The traditional oil-indexed gas pricing mechanism has been challenged in recent literature. Although gas prices have been shown to decouple from oil prices, the fundamental driving forces behind international natural gas prices are getting complicated and potentially change over time and across markets. This paper uses a systemic time-series approach to show how much fundamental factors contribute to the variation in gas pricing in the United States, Japan, and Germany. Empirical results show clear cross-country differences and time-varying patterns. Supply and demand factors are much less relevant to gas prices than oil prices in Germany and Japan, whereas they are relatively important in the US market. Through rolling-windows and sub-sample analysis, we discovered that oil price was important in Germany and Japan, but its impact has declined significantly in recent years.

Energy Efficiency Growth, Convergence of Countries in China’s “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, and the Effects of Market Integration

Mr. HAN Lei
School of Management and Economics,
Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), China

Confronted with the increasing demand of energy, improving energy efficiency (EE) has become an urgent issue globally. Under the common goal, cross-countries have different advantages that can affect energy efficiency, especially in Asia. Emerging economies, like China, have higher levels in technology as compared to countries in Middle Asia. However, Middle Asian countries have much larger energy reserves. To achieve the goal of complement advantages, trade presents the opportunity of an effective channel. Market integration, which is often measured by trade interdependence, represents the intensity of bilateral trade in one region. In this research, I analysed the growth and convergence of EE in scope of China’s “One Belt, One Road (OBOR)” Initiative, in a bid to discuss the questions: In the scope of OBOR, does energy efficiency converge or not? In addition, can market integration positively affect the growth and/or convergence of energy efficiency among the countries in OBOR?

Promoting the Development of Green Buildings: Psychological and Social Factors Matter
Ms. LIU Yunxia
College of Management and Economics,

Tianjin University

The green building (GB) movement is initiated to reduce the negative impact caused by the building industry It is regarded as one important way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to solve the energy crisis in the world. Progress has been made in relation to the technical dimension of GB. At the same time, the importance of the human element of GB (e.g., public perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours) is increasingly being recognised. However, there is inadequate empirical studies being made to explore the relationship between psycho-social factors and promotion of GB. To fill this gap, we need a shift in mindset and focus not only on the technical dimensions but also the psychological and behavioural dimensions. The speaker will summarise her work on the pro-environmental behaviours and how it is integrated with the building related research.



Ms. SHI Min is currently a visiting Ph.D. student from the Research Institute of Economics and Management (RIEM), Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, China. Her research interests consists of energy economics/finance, corporate finance and labour economics. During her study visitation, SHI Min was involved in a research on natural gas pricing, with Dr. SHI Xunpeng. Previously, she has done some research related to energy efficiency, corporate governance, and wage inequality. SHI Min has published two papers. Meanwhile, she has three working papers. Presently, her research idea is to combine energy with corporate finance. Using listed energy-related firms, she intends to conduct a research to investigate whether these firms have specific characteristics in corporate governing.

Mr. HAN Lei (Max) is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), China. Presently, he works as a visiting student in Energy Study Institute (ESI), National University of Singapore (NUS). His research interests includes energy efficiency, market integration, and technology diffusion. He is currently studying the convergence and growth of energy efficiency in the background of China’s “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, especially the effects of trade, market integration in this process.

LIU Yunxia
LIU Yunxia is a Ph.D. student from the College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, China. Her major is Public Administration. She obtained her master’s degree from the Tianjin University and bachelor’s degree from the China University of Mining and Technology majoring in human resource management. She has research interests in green building policies and pro-environmental behaviours. During her one year visitation (December 2016 to November 2017) in ESI, she will work on the barriers and incentive measures for the green building development in China, by comparing and learning from Singapore’s experience.