China Revises Environmental Law

FILE – Commuters wearing masks make their way amid thick haze in the morning in Beijing. China’s north is suffering a pollution crisis, with the capital Beijing itself shrouded in acrid smog. Authorities have introduced anti-pollution policies.

HONG KONG — After almost two years of debate, China’s parliament has passed a new law that analysts say is a positive step in addressing the country’s systemic problems with the environment. Environmental groups say that although implementation may prove difficult, the revision gives them a legal framework to challenge polluters.

The new law gives more punitive powers to environmental authorities, allows a broader range of actions for environmental organizations and defines geographical “red lines” where the area’s ecology requires special protection.

It is the first time the environmental protection law has been revised since 1989.

Lawmaker Xin Chunying, told a news briefing Thursday that the revision will have an important effect on the future of China’s environmental protection efforts. “The revision of the environmental law is a heavy blow [in the fight against] our country’s harsh environmental realities, and an important systemic construct,” said Xin.

China has suffered from the effects of its rapid development, which has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty but heavily damaged the environment.

Air, water and soil pollution have reached alarming levels, becoming one of the key sources of discontent for many Chinese.

Despite official pronouncements to put the environment first, local governments have for decades been judged solely on their economic performance.

Read more at Voice of America

One thought on “China Revises Environmental Law

  1. China has been growing rapidly. Using dirty energy has cost them their air quality. Recently, I heard that China was spending 10 times more on green energy than the USA. I wonder if these new laws are going to have an impact on their future use of tar sands? China was the target market for this dirty fuel.

    China’s new laws must be making the gas and oil industry nervous. This may explain all the new state laws restricting green energy and mass transit. China made it clear that it will hold governments and companies to a higher standard. Interesting situation. China has been used as an excuse for years. I hope this information travels fast. Way to go China – a positive move.

    Like

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