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IPPEP Model: A Tool for Observing Environmental Governance  

2012-09-01 16:29:30|  分类: Eng.Paper |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Paper for the 10th Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law,

School of Law, Maryland University, Baltimore, USA, July,2012

 

 IPPEP Model: A Tool for Observing Environmental Governance

 

Professor Wang Xi

Director of Environmental and Resources Law Institute (ERLI)

School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Counsellor, Shanghai Municipal Government

China

 

In recent years, a large number of pollution and ecological destruction events caused my concerns about the performances of various parties in the process of environmental protection in China.  Based on my study on many of the events, I developed a model for observing national environmental governance.   I called it as "a Model of Interactions of Parties in Process of Environmental Protection (IPPEP Model)”.

People tend to think that environmental protection is governmental regulation of the pollutants emission or discharge by enterprises only.      Actually this kind of understanding is one-sided and superficial.  

Environmental protection is a process of interactions among various parties or actors.  The success of environmental protection depends on good interaction, protected by law, among the major parties or actors of the process.  

In China, in order to accelerate the transformation of development mode and to realize the scientific development (a Chinese express of the concept “sustainable development), it is urgently needed to identify and recognize the major parties or actors and their interactions in the process of environmental protection, and to protect the good interactions by law and institutional arrangement.

In many other areas of public affairs, such as food security, public health, production safety, and urban and rural constructions, there are similar interactions among the various parties evolved in the respective processes of the areas.  Therefore, the IPPEP Model can be applied to those areas too.     In this sense, the significance of the model extends beyond the scope of environmental law.

 

A, Interactions of Parties in Process of Environmental Protection (IPPEP)

IPPEP refers to the situations of mutual influence among the parties when they develop, utilize or protect the environment.  This kind of interaction is one of the most important social relations.  It is a relation about the co-existence of human being and their natural environment.

The following equilateral triangle model expresses the IPPEP in China.

 

IPPEP Model: A Tool for Observing Environmental Governance - 王曦 - 王曦的博客

 

 

As shown in the model, there are three parties or major actors in the process of environmental protection.  They are, 1) government (both as Regulator and Supervisee), 2) enterprises (both as Regulatee and Supervisee), and 3) The Third Party (as Supervisor).   

Government is a regulator.  With the language of economics, regulation refers to the governmental intervention imposed on market entities for preventing or correct market failure.  Regulation is one of the reasons for the existence of government.  In the environmental protection process, government carries out regulation through implementation of environmental laws and policies.

Government is also a regulatee in China.    It is because both the governmental environmental regulation and the other governmental environmentally related acts, such as economic development planning, industry development planning, investment and business invitation, and construction project examination and approval, shall be supervised by the Third Party.    A government free from supervision will inevitably be slack, lazy, even corrupted.  A lot of environmental pollution and ecological destruction events in China have proved the correctness of this assertion. 

Enterprises are regulatees in process of environmental protection.  Due to the negative externality caused by production, enterprises are usually regulated by government and supervised by the Third Party too.

The “Third Party" refers to those who have the right to supervise government and enterprises in accordance with law, including the legislative organs, procuratorial organs, courts, citizen, citizen groups and enterprise which is not in a status of regulatee.

As shown in the model, there are two kinds of IPPEP in the process of environmental protection in China.  One is “regulatory relation”.  The other is “supervisory relation”. The former is the interaction between government and enterprises.    The latter is the interactions between the Third Party as one side and government and enterprises as other sides respectively.

 

B, Consequences of IPPEP

Generally, there are two consequences of IPPEP.  One is good.  The other is bad.

The good IPPEP refers to the situation that all the parties in the process effectively play their roles and work together to promote the progress of the environmental protection.  As explained by the equilateral triangles model, in a good IPPEP, each of the three parties is neither omitting nor abusing its rights and powers and their interactions form a stable equilibrium and a joint force driving the development of environmental protection.  In a good IPPEP, the regulators effectively regulate; the regulatees accept regulation and restrict their acts detrimental to environment; the supervisors effective supervise the performance of regulators and regulatees and make sure that they are in compliance with environmental law.

The bad IPPEP refers to a situation of stagnant or even reverse of the progress of environmental protection, in which one or more parties do not effectively excise their rights and do not faithfully fulfill their duties according to environmental law.  For example, due to absence or weakness of governmental regulation, enterprises wantonly discharge pollutants to the environment in exchange for a competing price for their products.  Similarly, because the weakness of the supervision upon government by Third Party, government makes mistakes in decisions on issues of environment and development, or does not strictly enforce environmental law.  In recent years, public media exposed a lot environmental pollution and ecological destruction events in China.  Those events shown that in many places there are such a bad interaction in the process of environmental protection.  The Central Committee of the Communist Party (the political party having the governing power of the State) has officially recognized this situation by pointing out that the costs of environment and natural resources for economic development in China are excessively high and called for accelerating the transformation of the mode of development.  The “excessively high” costs in environment and natural resources are the result of the bad interactions in the process of environmental protection.    Therefore, it is imperative to find out a way to turn the bad interactions to good ones for China.    

 

C, Essence of IPPEP

Based on their interests, the various parties participate into and exchange their interests in the process of environmental protection.  Exchange of interests is the essence of the IPPEP.  Clearly recognizing the essence of IPPEP is important for understanding the necessity of ensuring the good interactions by legislations.  

As to the enterprises both as regulatees and supervisees, this kind of "exchange" is to exchange for the legitimacy of their production and business operation by accepting governmental regulation, abiding by environmental law, and internalizing the negative externality caused by their production and operation.

As to government, the exchanges can be divided into two categories, according to the differences of governmental behaviors.  Firstly, as a regulator, government exchange for the legitimacy of its own existence by good results of environmental regulation, namely, good environment quality and good public service in environmental affairs.  Secondly, as a supervisee, the government exchanges for the qualification for decision-making in economic development planning, industrial development planning, investment and business invitation, and construction project examination and approval by soundly coordinating economical value with the environmental value in the decision-making process. 

As to the “Third Party”, the exchanges are different due to its complex composition.   For the organ of state power (legislature), the procuratorial organ (public prosecutor) and the judicial organs (court), they exchange for the legitimacy of their existence by the effectiveness of their supervision. For the public and NGOs, they exchange for a healthy and safe environment by contributing taxes to the State.

 

D. Protecting Good IPPEP by Law

In order to make the good IPPEP durable, it is necessary to protect them by law.  Level of legal protection to good IPPEP is an important indicator for measuring the level of development of the cause of environmental protection and environmental law system. 

As indicated by the IPPEP Model, there are two important relations in the process of environmental protection, namely, regulatory relation and supervisory relation, needing protection of law.  Both of them are the objects protected by environmental law and other related laws.  Based on the two relations, rules of environmental law can be divided into two categories.  One is for establishing and ensuring governmental regulation.  The other is for establishing and ensuring supervision between Third Parity and government and between Third Party and enterprises. 

In China, currently, the Third Party has a strong desire to supervise the performances of both the government and enterprises. The problem is that there are weak legislative and institutional arrangements for the Third Parties to effectively carry out their supervision. Therefore, as to China, a top priority for the Legislature should be to provide further legal and institutional protection and help to the supervision of the Third Party.

 

 

 

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