12 November 2020
The CCTL Environmental, Energy and Climate Law Cluster at CUHK LAW organised on 12 November 2020 an online seminar entitled ‘Climate Change Litigation and Its Potential Pathways in China.’
Prof. Yue Zhao, a renowned environmental law scholar, delivered the seminar and addressed issues related to the significance of Climate Change Litigation (CCL). Initially, the seminar provided examples from different jurisdictions referring to pathbreaking caselaw that have led to the establishment of CCL. Prof. Zhao then explained the use and evolution of CCL in China clarifying the legal framework, the role of courts, and other stakeholders. Based on the findings of empirical research, Prof. Zhao showed differences between standard CCL and Chinese CCL focusing on differences between statutory based litigation and contract-based litigation. The seminar, based on a recently published article, demonstrated that instead of a court-driven regulatory policy-making typical of common law jurisdictions, Chinese courts play a supportive role to a Chinese government-led regulatory pathway in response to climate change. Prof. Zhao then looked into the emergence of a tort-based Chinese CCL and the role of Public Interest Litigation on air pollution seen the linkage between climate change and air pollution.
Prof. Hao Zhang chaired the seminar and moderated an intriguing Q&A session.