A new Environmental Protection Law, many old problems? Challenges to environmental governance in China

Bo Zhang, Cong Cao, Junzhan Gu, Ting Liu

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbereqw014
    Pages (from-to)325-335
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Environmental Law
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Law

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