Past Event

Environmental Governance and Public Health

Friday, October 17 - Saturday, October 18, 2014
School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University
Room 302

Haidian District, Beijing

Content from the Brookings-Tsinghua Public Policy Center is now archived. Since October 1, 2020, Brookings has maintained a limited partnership with Tsinghua University School of Public Policy and Management that is intended to facilitate jointly organized dialogues, meetings, and/or events.

Jianjun Meng, visiting scholar of Research Institute of Economy, Trade & Industry (RIETI), spoke at Brookings-Tsinghua Center (BTC) on October 17th as part of the panel discussion hosted by BTC director Ye Qi. Focusing on issues of environmental governance and public health, the discussion was warmly received by students, scholars and representatives from the media and the industry. Associate Professor of Beijing Normal University Hongguang Cheng and Researcher of Development Research Center of the State Council Yang Su also joined as a guest commentator.

Meng Jianjun speaks at BTC

Meng speaks at BTC. Photo by Hou Xiaojun.

Of the utmost importance, according to Professor Meng, should be the transformation of guiding principles. Therefore, the primary goal in China’s urbanization should be the minimization of social costs (social sufferings) rather than the maximization of administrative effects. Japan’s success in environmental governance derives from the sophistication of its legal system and institutional design which helps coordinate the efforts of government, industry, academia and the public in the implementation of environmental policies. As for the increasingly severe Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) effect in China, Professor Meng quoted the examples of Kawasaki and Kitakyushu and showed that the solution to NIMBY lies in the equilibrium effect brought about by environmental governance. Environmental governance would create a win-win scenario, Meng said, if efforts of the civil society, regional groups, government and business were combined.

Apart from the guiding principles, another lesson China can learn from Japan is its introduction of public health risks to the environment evaluation system, Professor Cheng added. Yang Su proposed several policy recommendations to China’s environmental problems from the perspective of urbanization, which included redressing institutional defects and valuing macroeconomic data.

Questions were raised with regard to the treatment of soil and air pollution, Japan’s environmental policy and China’s policy practice.

Jianjun Meng is the visiting scholar of Research Institute of Economy, Trade & Industry. After receiving his Ph.D. from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Jianjun Meng held research positions in Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Takushoku University. Years of field experience in Japan gave him a profound insight into Japan’s environmental policy practice. Drawing upon the success of Kawasaki and Kitakyushu in environmental governance, Professor Meng illustrated the principle, mechanism and formation of environmental policy in a Chinese context.

Qi Ye moderates the event

Qi moderates the discussion. Photo by Hou Xiaojun.

Cheng Hongguang and Su Yang comment on the speech

Cheng and Su provide their commentary. Photo by Hou Xiaojun.

Meng Jianjun speaks at BTC

Meng speaks at BTC. Photo by Hou Xiaojun.