In the past decades, explosive economic and industrial growth in China has led to significant environmental degradation. As a result, China is currently in the process of developing more stringent controls over environmental issues. Since the new leadership came into power, the government declared a “war against pollution” and embarked on the road to “ecological civilization” in the context of the rule of law reform it recently launched. Therefore, we expect that environmental law and its enforcement will surely be a critical part of Chinese legal reform.
At the beginning of 2015, several big issues received widespread attention. On 1 January 2015, China formally began to implement the updated PRC Environmental Protection Law (“Amended EPL”), imposing incredibly harsher legal liabilities to polluters. In addition, a public interest lawsuit that yielded a $26 million verdict was chosen by the Supreme People’s Court as one of the most important cases of 2014. In this new era, these are clear signals that besides the improved administrative enforcement, new approaches, such as public interest lawsuits, will also become of importance in the regulation of environmental issues. Consequently, both enterprises’ outdated production mode and outdated concepts shall be abandoned. In order to better prepare you, we hereby introduce to you the new environmental law regime from multiple perspectives through this series of articles.
Continue Reading Harsher Legal Liabilities under New Environmental Law Regime