Abstract Climate change is treated in China as an issue related closely to the national strategy for sustainable development as well as an issue in international collaboration in environment. The duality of the issue makes the climate change policy often waver between domestic and international emphases. In the past one and a half decades, the central government emphasized mostly on responding to international pressure by participating in negotiations in international treaties. However, the nation, as well as the world, will probably benefit more by taking a more proactive attitude towards mitigation and adaptation to climate change. This paper described the current governance structure for climate change management in China and made concrete recommendations for its improvement. The most urgent recommendation is to improve the cooperation of current National Coordination Committee on Climate Change with authority for policy-making and to oversee climate change.