Environment in emerging and transition economies

Co-operation on the environment between OECD and China


Latest News and Events:

  • December 2003: OECD Environment Directorate and China' s State Environmental Protection Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding  on Co-operation (valid for the period 2004-2006).

Current Topics:

Environmental Governance

The OECD just published a report "Governance in China" which reviews the state of governance in China’s public and private sectors. It concludes that the country’s governance arrangements as they stand at present suffer from a number of serious fault lines, particularly in relation to China’s public finances and social stability.

A chapter on "Environment and Governance" identifies areas where further efforts to design and implement environmental policies that promote economic development should be made while at the same time enabling social and environmental objectives should be met.

The chapter examines relations between good governance and environmental policies, and the benefits of linking them more closely. It also provides a brief description of, and evaluates, key developments in environmental policy planning, the development of environmental institutions and the application of policy instruments in China. The report also discusses the rationale for involving the public in environmental management and presents examples of improved public access to information and public participation in environmental decision-making.

Environmental Finance

The project analyses financial viability and affordability and aims to develop a realistic strategy to finance the development of the wastewater treatment infrastructure in the Sichuan Province, in the area that will have impact on the water quality in Three Gorges Dam (up to 26 municipalities at the prefecture level). The project uses a methodology developed at OECD which includes an interactive computer model to simulate in quantitative terms the consequences of different policy choices. [ more...]

Background of OECD-China Co-operation on Environment

China's past two decades of rapid economic growth, urbanization, and industrialization have been accompanied by steady deterioration of the environment. The concentration of both air and water pollutants are among the highest in the world, causing damage to human health and lost agricultural productivity. Soil erosion, deforestation, damage to wetlands and grasslands have resulted in deterioration of China's ecosystems and pose a threat to future agricultural sustainability. The serious flooding of recent years has its origin in poor natural resources management.

China has already taken some steps to reduce pollution and deforestation. A system of pollution control programmes and institutional networks for environmental management is now in place at national and local levels. As part of the 1998 government reorganization, China's agency, the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), was upgraded to full ministerial rank and coverage expanded to include "green" issues. For better urban and industrial pollution control, China has focused increasingly on greater use of economic incentives, financial analysis, increasing use of public information campaigns and on river basin management.

Objectives of Co-operation

In 1996, the OECD launched a Programme of Dialogue and Co-operation with China and the Environment Directorate has been part of the Programme since then. The overarching objective of environmental co-operation between China and OECD is to promote dialogue and exchange of experience between OECD Member countries and China on environmental policy issues of mutual interest. Over the years the emphasis has been placed on supporting China's efforts to design and implement cost-effective market-based environmental policies that build upon "best practices" from OECD country experience, adapted to China's specific context.

See a description of OECD's Environment Programme in Chinese

Key Activities

The OECD-China environmental co-operation included the following activities:


For more information contact:

Krzysztof Michalak
Non-Member Countries Division
Environment Directorate, OECD
tel: (33 1) 45 24 96 00
e-mail: krzysztof.michalak@oecd.org


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