Through a three-year revision involving various stakeholders, China has enacted a new Environmental Protection Law (EPL). The new law seeks to harmonize economic and social development with environmental protection and for the first time establishes clear requirements for the construction of an ecological civilization. It toughens the penalties for environmental offences with specific articles and provisions for raising public awareness. It also places greater responsibility on local government and law enforcement for the protection of China's environment. However, many of the problems identified in the old EPL and especially the obstacles to its implementation have not been fully addressed and resolved. Effective environmental governance entails not only environmental laws but also implementation mechanisms, accountability regimes, and institutional arrangements. Raising the status of the EPL and of the general environmental protection apparatus is only the first step to meeting China's environmental challenges. More efforts in the area of enforcement and implementation will lead China to a cleaner future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law