Buddhist delegates to the National People’s Congress hope to appoint National Vegetarian Day
The deputy director of the Chinese Buddhist Society, the director of the Guangdong Buddhist Society and the Abbott of Guangzhou’s Guangxiaosi Temple have proposed to appoint China’s traditional Tomb Sweeping Festival as a “National Vegetarian Day.” Advocates hope that in addition to worshipping their ancestors, those celebrating the festival can give up meat in order to promote benevolence, environmentalism and the equality of all living creatures. In recent years the diets of the Chinese have been slowly changing, with people not only saying no to meat for religious reasons, but also for environmental, health and moral factors. Vegetarians in China have been increasingly rapidly, even though the current 50 million …read more
How does one Wrap up a 370 Million Yuan Environmental Public Interest Lawsuit?
This article discusses the recent failure of an environmental public interest lawsuit initiated by two Chinese NGOs against some polluting companies in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. There are fears that the ruling against the two NGOs, that will now be forced to pay heavy legal expenses, may discourage other such lawsuits in the future.
Weibo post sparks national inquiry into illegal pangolin smuggling
Indigenous to Africa and most of Southern and Eastern Asia, pangolins are a species of scale-covered mammals that resemble anteaters. The scaly critters are prized in Chinese cuisine and traditional medicine for their supposed healing qualities. In addition, their scaly hides are sought after as decorations and ornamental objects. Due to overhunting and global climate change however, pangolins have become one of the most threatened species on the planet. In 2014, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature categorized all species of pangolin as being threatened with extinction, with two species critically endangered. Killing, consuming, or selling pangolins in China is illegal and punishable by up to ten years …read more
How one dirty Chinese city went green
This article was originally published by the Paulson Institute. You can see the original here. The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit “think and do” tank grounded in the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China work in complementary ways. Its mission is to strengthen U.S.-China relations and to advance sustainable economic growth and environmental protection in both countries. Founded in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, the Institute is based in Chicago and has offices in Washington, San Francisco, and Beijing. Learn more at www.paulsoninstitute.org …read more
China’s ministries set goals on social issues for 2017
China’s central ministries recently held meetings to set their work plans for 2017 on social issues including environmental protection, housing, health and food safety. What will the focal points of their work be in 2017? Let’s take a look. Environmental Protection Ministry The ministry revealed its plans to tackle Chinese cities’ notorious winter pollution, tightening the regulations on pollution in the winter season in the following six ways: clamping down on coal-fired boilers; intensifying supervision on bulk coal control in urban villages, mixed urban-rural areas and rural communities; staggering some business operations to non-peak periods during the winter; improving industrial emission standards; standardizing businesses that are low-cost, scattered, disordered …read more
Five public interest litigation precedents published by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate
Public interest litigation initiated by procuratorates has become a new frontier for procuratorates to exercise their judicial supervision authority, and this issue has received heightened attention from all sections of society. After one and a half years’ piloting, on January 4 the Supreme Procuratorate published five public interest litigation guiding precedents. Exploring the establishment of a public interest litigation system by the procuratorates was proposed during the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. On July 1 2015, a resolution was passed by the 15th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress that authorized the Supreme Procuratorate to spearhead a two-year program piloting public interest litigation in the …read more
China’s first environmental protection tax law expected to take effect in 2018
The PRC Environmental Protection Tax Law was passed during the 25th session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on December 25, and will come into effect on January 1, 2018. The environmental protection tax law is the first single category tax law passed by the NPC’s Standing Committee. It is also China’s first “green tax law”, with the expressed purpose of promoting environmental protection. The Law contains five chapters and 28 articles, including general provisions, taxation basis and payable tax rates, tax relief, taxation management and supplementary provisions. The general concept of the tax law is to shift from “fees” towards “taxes”, that is to turn the system of …read more
French and Chinese foundations sign strategic cooperation agreement
The signing ceremony for the strategic cooperation agreement between France’s Expectation and Innovation Foundation and the Beijing Qiaonu Foundation was held on October 20th. During the ceremony the former French prime minister and chairman of the Expectation and Innovation Foundation Jean-Pierre Raffarin and the president of the Orient Landscape Industry Group and chairwoman of the Beijing Qiaonu Foundation He Qiaonu signed the cooperation agreement and discussed future cooperation. It is reported that the two foundations are going to film a documentary with a French television institute in order to let the world know more about China, encourage people to think about human progress and inspire environmental protection activities. The aim …read more
Chinese Civil Society: A Half Year Summary
Five topics that provide a quick grasp of the crucial developments in philanthropic legislation and legal practice in China during the first half of 2016.
Milestone for public interest lawsuits as Chinese company fined for causing air pollution
On July 20, the Intermediate People’s Court in the city of Dezhou, Shandong Province, ordered the Jinghua Group Zhenhua Decoration Glass Limited Company to pay nearly 3.3 million dollars for its excessive emission of pollutants. More than a hundred tonnes of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and smoke dust were emitted, exceeding the maximum stipulated by regulations. The All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF), which brought up the lawsuit in March 2015, based the potential amount of damages on the offending company’s operating costs, with the hope that the case can provide a route to successful public interest litigation in the future. Ma Yong, the former deputy head of ACEF’s Environmental Legal Services …read more
Amendment passed to China’s Environmental Impact Assessment Law
An amendment to China’s Environmental Impact Assessment Law was passed in the beginning of July. The law originally went into effect in 2003, aiming to mitigate the damage that construction projects cause the environment and promote the coordinated development of the economy, society and nature. Although it has played a positive role in the prevention of pollution and ecological damage, some loopholes in the legislation have also made themselves evident over the 13 years it has been in place, and calls for a revision were longstanding. The amendment includes a couple of salient points. First of all, the administrative requirements for EIAs have been weakened. Before it was amended, the …read more