ClientEarth has become one of the first foreign NGOs to receive an official registration in China. The registration certificate was received on June 30, 2017.
The registration is a recognition of the successful contributions ClientEarth has made to environmental protection in China in the past years, and the positive relations it has established with the Chinese government.
Dimitri de Boer, Head of ClientEarth’s China office, said: “This registration puts ClientEarth in a very special position. It gives us the necessary legal status to operate in China, and support the central government’s efforts to modernise environmental governance and law.”
Tackling China’s environmental problems
China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and has severe air pollution.
The Chinese government is revamping its system of environmental governance and laws, emphasising greater transparency, public supervision and incorporating rule of law principles.
In 2015, ClientEarth started work in China to help the government develop effective solutions to environmental challenges. Through our China office we support drafting and implementation of better environmental laws, conduct training and exchanges with judges and prosecutors, and help to strengthen the role of environmental NGOs.
ClientEarth is also establishing a fund to support local courts in making better decisions in environmental public interest cases. For example, in June 2016, ClientEarth and the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) trained over 200 environmental judges on climate litigation and resource protection, with lectures from SPC President and Chief Justice Zhou Qiang and China’s top climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua.
In 2017, ClientEarth will expand its work in China, including:
- supporting the Ministry of Environmental Protection to develop a new environmental permitting system, and starting a joint assessment of local government transparency on environmental information.
- training and sharing technical knowledge with the Supreme People’s Court and the chief prosecutorial body.
- providing training for environmental law practitioners, including officials, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and NGOs.
- starting a Friend to Court Fund to provide expert support to environmental courts, so judges are in a better position to issue rulings that ensure effective environmental remediation.