China's unprecedented economic growth and rapid urbanization in the past three decades has exerted a heavy toll on the country's environment. Set against the backdrop of China's daunting environmental challenges, this article will first discuss how the environmental justice issue manifests itself on Chinese soil and how its evolvement differs from the American experience. This discussion will be followed by an analysis on how environmental public interest litigation, inspired by citizen suits in the U.S., has been fermenting in China and advocated by environmentalists as a new approach to broaden and strengthen access to environmental justice. The article will then move on to analyze three high-profile environmental public interest cases recently brought by a Chinese NGO and a local environmental protection agency, respectively, at two specialized environmental courts, and discuss the important innovations and limitations of these cases. The article will conclude with some further thoughts on the direction of China's environmental public interest litigation experiment and how it can be effectively employed to strengthen environmental governance and ensure environmental justice for all.
Environmental Justice with Chinese Characteristics: Recent Developments in Using Environmental Public Interest Litigation to Strengthen Access to Environmental Justice,
Fla. A&M U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://commons.law.famu.edu/famulawreview/vol7/iss2/6