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Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8967-8979; doi:10.3390/su6128967

Environmental Legislation in China: Achievements, Challenges and Trends

1,* , 2
and
3,4,*
1
Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the National People's Congress, Beijing 100805, China
2
Office of Development and Reform, Yancheng Institute of Technology, Yancheng 224051, China
3
Key Lab of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 10016, China
4
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam 14467, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in China: Bridging Global Knowledge with Local Action)
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Abstract

Compared to the environmental legislation of many developed countries, China’s environmental legislation was initiated late, beginning in 1979, but nevertheless has obtained considerable achievements. As many as thirty environmental laws have provided rules regarding prevention and control of pollution, resource utilization, and ecological protection in China. However, China’s environmental legislation still faces a series of challenges and problems, including that the sustainable development concept has not yet been fully implemented, as well as presence of gaps and non-coordination phenomena between laws and regulations, unclear responsibility, imperfect system design, imbalance between rights and obligations, higher impacts resulted from the GDP-centralized economy, lack of operability and instruments in the legal content, as well as difficulty of public participation. In contrast, China’s environmental legislation has improved, as a result of learning from experience in developed countries and introducing innovations stimulated by domestic environmental pressure. Looking into the future, increased attention to environmental protection and ecological consciousness paid by China’s new leaders will bring a valuable opportunity to China’s further development concerning environmental legislation. In the future, there are prospects for the gradual improvement of legal approaches, continuous improvements of legislation to mitigate environmental problems, and more opportunities to strengthen public participation can be predicted. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental legislation; sustainable development; legislative innovation environmental legislation; sustainable development; legislative innovation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mu, Z.; Bu, S.; Xue, B. Environmental Legislation in China: Achievements, Challenges and Trends. Sustainability 2014, 6, 8967-8979.

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