International experiences to inform the People’s Republic of China’s institutional choices for environmental policy
Introduction It is a widely acknowledged fact that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) macro-environmental policy faces a number of institutional challenges in developing its “capacity for environmental protection.” This capacity, defined as “a society’s ability to identify and solve environmental problems” (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Devlopment (OECD) 1994), is a key determinant of the PRC’s conditions for environmental action in the long term. Meeting the present institutional challenges is likely to help improve both the environmental quality in the PRC and the efficiency of its environmental policy. For a country’s capacity for environmental protection to perform satisfactorily, institutions have to be in place that would enable all of the necessary stages of the environmental policy cycle to function. The PRC’s capacity for environmental protection is to a significant extent a question of:
1 what is the internal organization of institutions of environmental policy visà-vis each other; and
2 what is the external relationship of these governmental institutions vis-à-vis other stakeholders such as businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private citizens.