in: Alejandro Esguerra / Nicole Helmerich / Thomas Risse (eds.), Sustainability politics and limited statehood: contesting the new modes of governance, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 77-104
Public-private partnerships for sustainable development - a global governance instrument which focuses on implementing concrete sustainability projects - have been received with much appreciation from policy-makers and scholars. Partnerships were expected to improve the implementation of sustainable development across a number of political contexts. This chapter scrutinizes how public-private partnerships agreed upon at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development adapt to the local context. Taking China and biodiversity governance as a case study, we discuss the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and its project implementation in China as an example of how global governance structures and local implementation contexts interact. We argue that while authoritarian state structures in China make public-private partnerships an unlikely governance instrument, their flexibility and adaptation enable partnerships to operate in difficult contexts.