Even the government understands that the environmental challenge is so big that no single agency can handle it. It needs collaboration among all the stakeholders - companies, governments, NGOs and the public. Public accountability will be the ultimate driving force.
Environmental problems cannot be resolved here the way they are resolved in other countries. I heard that 80 per cent of the environmental problems in the U.S. are solved in court. That can't happen here.
We firmly believe the environmental issues cannot be addressed without extensive public participation, but people need to be informed before they can get involved.
The motivation should come from regulatory enforcement, but enforcement is weak, and environmental litigation is near to impossible. So there's an urgent need for extensive public participation to generate another kind of motivation.
It has been shown that public participation can limit powerful interest groups, while competing interests can help find a reasonable balance between development and environmental protection.
If major companies sourcing in developing countries care only about price and quality, local suppliers will be lured to cut corners on environmental standards to win contracts.
Environmental agencies in China are hamstrung by local officials who put economic growth ahead of environmental protection; even the courts are beholden to local officials, and they are not open to environmental litigation.
China's environmental conundrums will not be solved by changes within government alone. New mechanisms are needed to allow the communities which may be affected by a given plan, and citizens concerned about the environment, to join in.
China leads the world in energy consumption, carbon emissions, and the release of major air and water pollutants, and the environmental impact is felt both regionally and globally.
China has leapfrogged into this information age, and Web users have grown very significantly, which knocked down the cost of doing the environmental transparency.
Brands who come to China, often they just care about price - so they actually drive the suppliers to cut corners on environmental standards to win a contract.
On April 16, 2010, 34 Chinese environmental organizations, including Friends of Nature, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Green Beagle, questioned heavy metal pollution in a letter sent to CEO Steve Jobs.