Friends of Nature and a few other NGOs have been actively engaged in the environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) to protect the environment from pollution and ecological destruction. More recently, procuratorates and local governments have acquired standing in EPIL. Procuratorial EPIL has developed quickly with policy and institutional support. In contrast, NGOs initiate a relatively small number of EPILs each year. Does it suggest a diminishing role of NGOs in the development of EPIL in China? Will they continue to make impact in the building of China’s new environmental governance? This seminar argues that the NGOs will continue to be an essential force, especially in exploring the new-type EPILs such as the Green Peacock Case and the Gansu Grid Case. Experienced NGOs like Friends of Nature are innovative, flexible, professional and good at mobilizing the public to address tricky environmental issues. Their voice is irreplaceable even when EPIL becomes dominated by the procuratorates. The promulgation of the Chinese Civil Code (2020) and its extension of environmental tort liability to cover environmental damage per se in Part VII will further enable NGOs to protect nature by EPIL.
About the Speaker:
Dr. ZHANG Qing is an environmental law and policy researcher at the Shenzhen Academy of Environmental Sciences. He obtained LLB from the Sun Yat-sen University and then pursued postgraduate research study specializing in environmental and natural resources law. He graduated from the China University of Political Science and Law with MPhil and successfully completed his PhD study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2020. He had published his research on EPIL in the Chinese Journal of Environmental Law during his PhD study. Dr. ZHANG Qing currently works on Chinese environmental law and environmental governance. His research has been cited by the UN Environment Programme and SSCI/CSSCI journals.