Legal Remedies for Transboundary Pollution
- New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Michael Faure and Song Ying
Chapter 9: Transboundary Environmental Crimes: An Analysis of Chinese and European Law
9. Transboundary environmental crimes: an analysis of Chinese and European law Thomas Richter 1 INTRODUCTION Transnational crime is not a new phenomenon of modern times. Historic examples refer to piracy, slavery and (opium) smuggling.1 However, the ﬁeld of cross-border criminal activities seems to have broadened over the centuries and especially in the last decades. In 1994, the United Nations deﬁned 18 categories of transnational crimes, including environmental crimes.2 Usually, transnational crimes are deﬁned as an activity that is considered a criminal oﬀence by at least two countries.3 As we will see later, in the case of environmental oﬀences, it might be suﬃcient that at least in one country the activities damaging the environment are regarded as criminal acts. Transboundary environmental damages are injuries which are caused within the territory of one country or province and which have damaging eﬀects within the territory of another country or province. Pollution is sometimes transported even by nature itself, for example, wind, rivers or groundwater. Some threats are global, such as emission of certain gases destroying the ozone layer or (co-)producing global warming. Global environmental damage is not as new as we often think. For instance, the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons reached its highest level in the 1950s. Fear of radioactive fallout became the most prominent international environmental issue after World War II.4 Environmental protection is usually divided into a section of protection of natural resources and another section of prevention and control of pollution. As...
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