Concepts, Implementation and Effectiveness
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Michael Faure, Peter De Smedt and An Stas
Chapter 23: Domestic environmental enforcement networks: the practice of China
Xinyuan Lu, Hu Qin and Jun Yang
China traces its history of environmental protection back to 1973, when the first national conference on environmental protection was held. In less than one decade after the conference, China pronounced its first statute on environmental law. And following that, several environmental and resources laws were successively passed. As a measure to ensure the implementation of these environmental statutes, environmental enforcement is therefore listed as a formal responsibility of environmental authorities. But the capacity of enforcement agencies remained very weak in their first two decades, inter alia due to insufficient awareness of environmental protection at the level of local governments. At early stages of environmental protection, the pollution levy was embraced as an instrument to change the emitters’ behaviours and to collect money to support local investment in pollution abatement and control projects and to finance the operation of environmental protection agencies. The pollution levy was a very important assurance for local environmental protection as no other instrument was as powerful in making money so quickly.
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