November 27, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
China recently amended its civil procedure law to allow nongovernmental organizations to sue on behalf of the public interest. This provision could be transformative, and Chinese NGOs will have to learn quickly how to litigate public interest lawsuits. There has been only one public interest case brought by a grassroots NGO to look to and learn from so far: a pending case brought by two NGOs over illegal chromium pollution in Yunnan province. The speakers at this panel will discuss how and why public interest law has become a “hot” topic among the law, policy, and NGO communities. They will also analyze the implications of what we know about this case for future environmental public interest cases.
August 09, 2012 // 10:30am — 12:00pm
The battle to combat pollution in China is making its way to Chinese courts. Recent class action suits and public interest cases are demonstrating how environmental arbitration is becoming an effective tool for tackling environmental issues.
July 24, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
This discussion "digs" into the coal-water choke point in China, looking at how the country's continued reliance on coal will impact future water supplies, and how China's power sector will survive a predictably parched future.
June 14, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
China produces over one-quarter of the world’s garbage, piling up at least 250 million tons of household waste each year. As the trash continues to pile, debate surrounding waste management in China heats up.
Global Choke Point: Exploring the Water Energy Confrontations in China and the United States (In Seattle, WA)
May 10, 2012 // 9:30am — 11:30am
May 09, 2012 // 10:00am — 11:30am
This CEF event features leading experts from government, industry and academia to discuss the current state of US-China clean energy relations in the wake of recent trade investigations.
April 27, 2012 // 10:00am — 12:00pm
The future of Earth's environment will be decided in Asia, home to 60 percent of the world's population and some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Journalists play a key role in informing audiences about the future and current state of the environment and what can be done to protect it. Yet, in a time when environmental issues have never been more pressing, media coverage remains constrained. Thousands of journalists are working to correct the imbalance, making great efforts to cover the environment in the face of obstacles from governments, corporations, criminal elements, and even their own editors. Join us for a panel discussion with environmental journalism leaders Imelda Abano (Philippines), IGG Maha Adi (Indonesia); Joydeep Gupta (India); and Lican Liu (China); they will discuss their work as reporters and the actions they have taken to support environmental journalism in their countries and region.
A Way Toward a Super Ministry? A Case Study of Environmental Protection Administrative System Reform in China - Co-Sponsored with the World Bank
March 27, 2012 // 12:30pm — 2:00pm
China has made significant progress in building an administrative system for environmental protection from nil over the past 40 years. The most recent reform of the government organization at the national level in 2008 was guided by the concept of establishing a system of “super-ministries” with comprehensive functions so as to trim the size of the government and improve efficiency. As part of this, the then-State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) was upgraded to the level of a full ministry with a cabinet position on the State Council, renamed the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). But the nation still is confronted by serious and growing environmental problems that require further significant advances. Based on the results of a World Bank Technical Assistance, the presentation will examine the current situation and problems with the administrative system for environmental protection, review past government administrative reforms and international experience, and set out a series of recommendations for the future reform of the national-level administrative system for environmental protection in six main areas - roles and responsibility of government agencies, environmental laws, a national coordination and decision making body, MEP organizational structure, supervision of local governments, and capacity building.
March 21, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:15pm
Villagers in central China confront a chemical company that is poisoning their land and water in this rare portrait of grassroots activism in contemporary China. When his own fields could no longer be farmed, Zhang Gongli filed a lawsuit against the polluting factory. After he lost, he initiated a stubborn, and often dangerous, campaign for justice. The Warriors of Qiugang follows Zhang and his allies in the village as they petition Beijing, recruit support from the local media, reach out for help from a local NGO and make contact with environmental activists from across China. The film’s intimacy leads us beyond the headlines and clichés about modern China and offer a memorable portrait of villagers wrestling with, and transformed by, China’s headlong rush into modernity. In Chinese, with English subtitles, the movie was directed by Ruby Yang and produced by Thomas Lennon. It was the 2011 Academy Award Nominee for Documentary Short Film.
March 20, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
China is home to some of the most polluted rivers and lakes in the world. Through stricter water pollution control laws and new targets in the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has intensified pressure on cities and industries to curb water pollution and wastage. Enforcement of such top-down initiatives remains challenging, but the Chinese environmental NGO community has been pursuing a broader range of tactics to improve water protection efforts—ranging from increasing transparency and information disclosure and conducting third party audits, to public interest law cases and public education campaigns. At this March 20th CEF meeting, Kristen McDonald from Pacific Environment will introduce the diverse and increasingly effective strategies being used by Chinese NGOs in to protect water and communities from pollution. Then Susan Keane from NRDC will discuss NRDC’s innovative Clean by Design program, which is designed to use the buying power of multinational apparel retailers and brands as a lever to reduce the environmental impacts of their suppliers abroad.