The Emergence of Preventive Chemical Management as a Salient Environmental Policy Concern in China

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Authors
Jiang, Chao
Issue Date
2014-04-26
Type
oral
Language
en_US
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Abstract
This presentation presents a master’s thesis research on the precautionary principle’s application in China’s chemical management policy, including consideration of risk assessment. The precautionary principle promotes preventive measures in face of scientific uncertainty. It has been integrated into a number of regulations and agreements, including the Rio Declaration and the European Union’s regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). China’s gross output value of chemical industry has surpassed the United States and become the largest in the world. In recent years, health and environmental issues resulting from chemical pollution in China have been frequently reported, involving industries such as electronics and textiles. Environmentally sound management of chemicals is getting increased attention from the Chinese government. The development of China’s chemical management policy may be observed from its policy amendments in recent years. In this context, what (combination of) principles guide China’s chemical management policy becomes an interesting question. Drawing on literature review and interviews with key stakeholders, the analysis shows that elements of both the precautionary principle and risk assessment are present in China’s chemical management policy. However, the precautionary principle is not clearly defined in the country’s chemical management policy. There is also a trend of risk assessment being developed in recent regulations and publications, but its implementation in China is still nascent.
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