Environmental Law in China: A Paper Tiger or Actual Change?
China has declared “war on pollution” with several new environmental laws and the willingness to take action against climate change. Awareness of the severe and lingering environmental problems in China is increasing, both domestically and externally. Does this truly mean that China will finally take meaningful, active steps to combat air, water and land pollution, or are the initiatives merely aspirational with other issues continuing to take precedence despite much promising rhetoric? In this podcast, Myanna Dellinger interviews three law professors with unique insight into Chinese environmental law and its potential enforcement.
Joseph W. Dellapenna is a Professor of Law at Villanova Law School. His research focuses on water management (national and international) and international and comparative law. He has previously taught at several universities in the United States and abroad. He is the only person ever to be a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Law in both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China. Professor Dellapenna has also served as a consultant to numerous private entities and foreign governments, including the World Bank, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the People’s Republic of China, as well as the Republic of China. Professor Dellapenna lived for two years in China and still returns several times a year for professional purposes. He lived in China for two years and speaks Mandarin.
Joel A. Mintz is a Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern Law Center where he has taught courses related to environmental law since 1983. Before entering academia, Professor Mintz was an enforcement attorney and chief attorney with the EPA in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Widely viewed as one of the nation’s leading legal academic experts on environmental enforcement, Joel Mintz has testified before the United States Congress on the subject and published three books and numerous book contributions and law review articles regarding it. Professor Mintz is also the author or co-author of six other books regarding environmental law, sustainability, and municipal debt financing. He is a recipient of several awards for his work as an attorney, teacher and scholar. He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Alex Wang is an Assistant Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. His research focuses on Chinese law, politics, and environmental regulation. Professor Wang previously served as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Beijing and as the founding director of NRDC’s China Environmental Law & Governance Project. In this capacity, he worked with China’s government agencies, legal community, and environmental groups to improve the environmental rule of law and strengthen the role of the public in environmental protection. He helped to establish NRDC’s Beijing office in 2006. He was a Fulbright Fellow to China from 2004-05. Professor Wang was a fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations (2008-10) and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Advisory Board to the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations.
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