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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance


Dr. Ning Zhang is a Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics in Shandong University, China. His current research interests include sustainability science and environmental and energy economics. He is an active and influential interdisciplinary researcher in the field of sustainability area. His international reputation for sustainability areas in developing countries has resulted in more than 100 publications, policy-making, and international conference and committee invites. His publications appear in many highly ranked journals such as Science, Nature Climate Change, Nature Geoscience, Nature Sustainability, Nature Communications, One Earth, Lancet Plant Health and Journal of Development Economics. Among those papers, more than 20 of papers have been selected as the ESI top 1% highly cited papers. He is a highly cited researcher as awarded by Clarivate in 2020-2022. Based on IDEAS/RePEc database, he is ranked top 5% among the economists in the world. He received the Outstanding Youth Scientist Foundation award from National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Regarding editorial work, he is serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Green and Low-carbon Economy, an editorial member of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and an associate editor of Social Science Journal and Energy, Ecology and Environment. He has been successful in obtaining research funding. He is the Principal Investigator in 5 research projects funded by the NSFC, principal Investigator of the National Key R&D Program of China and several provincial-level research funding with the total amount of above 10 million RMB Yuan. His research outputs are frequently used as quantitative evidence in policy making processes related to ecology and environment. He is a member of the China People's Political Consultative Conference of Shandong Province.

More information about his research progress can be found on Dr. Ning Zhang's profiles on ORCID, Scopus and Google Scholar.


Key publications: 
  1. Zhang, N., Liu, Z., Zheng, X., Xue, J., 2017. Carbon footprint of China’s belt and road. Science, 357(6356): 1106-1107.
  2. Guan, D., Meng, J., David, R., Zhang, N.*, et al., 2018. The drivers of China’s carbon emission peak. Nature Geoscience, 11: 551-555.
  3. Wiedenhofer, D., Guan, D., Liu, Z., Meng, J., Zhang, N., Wei, Y., 2017. Unequal household carbon footprints in China. Nature Climate Change, 7(1): 75-80.
  4. Wei, W., Li, J., …, Zhang, N.*, et al., 2021. Embodied greenhouse gas emissions from building China’s large-scale power transmission infrastructure. Nature Sustainability, 4: 739-747.
  5. Liu, Z., …, Zhang, N., et al., 2020. Near-real-time monitoring of global CO2 emissions reveals the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature Communications, 11: 5172.
  6. Peng K, Li J....,Zhang, N. et al., 2023. The global power sector low-carbon transition may enhance  sustainable development goal achievement. Nature Communications, 2023.
  7. Li, J., Peng, K., …, Zhang, N.*, et al., 2020. Critical rare-earth elements mismatch global wind-power ambitions. One Earth, 3(1): 116-125.
  8. Li, J., Zhou, S., …, Zhang, N., et al., 2020. China's retrofitting measures in coal-fired power plants bring significant mercury-related health benefits. One Earth, 5(4): 392-402.
  9. Yang, F., …, Zhang, N., Li, J., 2022. Life cycle assessment shows that retrofitting coal-fired power plants with fuel cells will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One Earth, 5(4): 392-402.
  10. Yin, H., Brauer, M., …, Zhang, N., et al., 2021. Population ageing and deaths attributable to ambient PM2·5 pollution: a global analysis of economic cost. The Lancet Planetary Health, 5(6): e356-e367.
  11. Hou, S., Zhao, X., …, Zhang, N.*, 2022. Spatial analysis connects excess water pollution discharge, industrial production, and consumption at the sectoral level. npj Clean Water, 5: 4.
  12. Yu, Y., Zhang, N.*, 2022. Environmental regulation and innovation: Evidence from China. Global Environment Change, 76: 102587.
  13. Pan, D., Chen, H., Zhang, N.*, Kong, F., 2023. Do livestock environmental regulations reduce water pollution in China? Ecological Economics, 204: 107637.
  14. Zhang, H., Zhang, L., Zhang, N.*, 2023. When and Under What Conditions Does an Emission Trading Scheme Become Cost Effective? The Energy Journal, 45(2).
  15. Zhang, N., Zhao, Y., Wang, N., 2022. Is China's energy policy effective for power plants? Evidence from the 12th Five-Year Plan energy saving targets. Energy Economics, 112: 106143.
  16. Zhang, N., Huang, X., Qi, C., 2022. The effect of environmental regulation on the marginal abatement cost of industrial firms: Evidence from the 11th Five-Year Plan in China. Energy Economics, 112: 106147.
  17. Kong, X., …, Zhang, N.*, Li, J., 2022. Steel stocks and flows of global merchant fleets as material base of international trade from 1980 to 2050. Global Environmental Change, 73: 102493.
  18. Du, M., Liu, Y., Wang, B., Lee, M., Zhang, N.*, 2021. The sources of regulated productivity in Chinese power plants: An estimation of the restricted cost function combined with DEA approach. Energy Economics, 100: 105318.
  19. Yu, Y., Zhang, N.*, 2021. Low-carbon city pilot and carbon emission efficiency: Quasi-experimental evidence from China. Energy Economics, 96: 105125.
  20. Zhang, N., Ren, R., Zhang, Q., Zhang, T., 2020. Air pollution and tourism development: An interplay. Annals of Tourism Research, 85: 103032.
  21. Mendoze-Tinoco, D., …, Zhang, N., et al., 2020. Flood Footprint Assessment: A Multiregional Case of 2009 Central European Floods. Risk Analysis, 40(8): 1612-1631.
  22. Zhang, N., Zhang, W., 2020. Can sustainable operations achieve economic benefit and energy saving for manufacturing industries in China? Annals of Operations Research, 290(1-2): 145-168.
  23. Wei, X., Zhang, N.*, 2020. The shadow prices of CO2 and SO2 for Chinese Coal-fired Power Plants: A partial frontier approach. Energy Economics, 85: 104576.
  24. Wang, H., Zhou, P., Xie, B., Zhang, N., 2019. Assessing drivers of CO2 emissions in China's electricity sector: A metafrontier production-theoretical decomposition analysis. European Journal of Operational Research, 275(3): 1096-1107.
  25. Wu, T., Zhang, N.*, Gui, L, Wu, W., 2018. Sustainable endogenous growth model of multiple regions: Reconciling OR and economic perspectives. European Journal of Operational Research, 269(1): 218-226.
  26. Pan, D., Zhang, N.*, 2018. The Role of Agricultural Training on Fertilizer Use Knowledge: A Randomized Controlled Experiment. Ecological Economics, 148: 77-91.
  27. Chen, Z, Wanke, P., Antunes, J.J.M., Zhang, N., 2017. Chinese airline efficiency under CO2 emissions and flight delays: A stochastic network DEA model. Energy Economics, 68: 89-108.
  28. Liu, Y., Ji, Y., Shao, S., Zhong, F., Zhang, N., Chen, Y., 2017. Scale of Production, Agglomeration and Agricultural Pollutant Treatment: Evidence From a Survey in China. Ecological Economics, 140: 30-45.
  29. Du, L., Hanley, A., Zhang, N.*, 2016. Environmental technical efficiency, technology gap and shadow price of coal-fuelled power plants in China: A parametric meta-frontier analysis. Resources and Energy Economics, 43: 14-32.
  30. Zhang, N., Wang, B., 2015. A deterministic parametric metafrontier Luenberger indicator for measuring environmentally-sensitive productivity growth: A Korean fossil-fuel power case. Energy Economics, 51: 88-98.
  31. Zhang, N., Zhou, P., Kung, C., 2015. Total-factor carbon emission performance of the Chinese transportation industry: A bootstrapped non-radial Malmquist index analysis. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41: 584-593.
  32. Zhang, N., Choi, Y., 2014. A note on the evolution of directional distance function and its development in energy and environmental studies 1997-2013. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 33: 50-59.
  33. Zhang, N., Choi, Y., 2013. Total-factor carbon emission performance of fossil fuel power plants in China: A metafrontier non-radial Malmquist index analysis. Energy Economics, 40: 549-559.
  34. Lee, M., Zhang, N., 2012. Technical efficiency, shadow price of carbon dioxide emissions, and substitutability for energy in the Chinese manufacturing industries. Energy Economics, 34(5): 1492-1497.
Other publications: 

Working papers:

  1. Does Vertical Environmental Governance Reduce Water Pollution at Borders? Evidence from a Pilot Experiment in China (with Huanxiu Guo and Antonio Bento)
  2. Impacts of Pollution Levy on Firm Emissions and TFP (with Junjie Zhang and Tao Zhou)
  3. Evaluating Air Pollution Regulation: Separating Firm Competitiveness and Ambient Effects (with V.Brian Viard and Peng Zhang)
  4. Promotion or protection? Labor market evidence from the environmental cadre evaluation policy in China (with Haowei Yu)
  5. Air Pollution and Joint Decisions: Evidence from Divorce Record in China (with Peng Zhang)
  6. Firm Innovation in Hazy Days: Chinese Evidence (with Yunxiao Liu)
  7. Air pollution and Cost of Equity Capital (with Yunxiao Liu)
  8. How Does Short-term Air Pollution Exposure Influence Worker Performance? Evidence from Soccer Players in China (with Yunxiao Liu)
  9. Does Air Pollution Decrease Labor Share? Evidence from China (with Tao Zhou)
  10. Blocking A New Baby? The Effect of Air Pollution on Fertility Intention (with Guanglai Zhang)
Visiting Scholar
Professor of Environmental Economics, Shandong University
Ning Zhang