The Center for China & Globalization (CCG) joined the US Council on Foreign Relations hosting a seminar on Dec. 12, 2015, how to handle the environmental hazards to human health. The event gathered dozens of scholars, experts, government officials, and media reporters to explore the ways to include environmental health issues in government agenda and improve public policies to cope with the environmental challenges. They also discussed the similarities and differences in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of environmental policies in China and foreign countries.

Held right after the conclusion of the COP21 in Paris, it was the first seminar on environmental health issues co-hosted by Chinese and US think tanks.

Three decades of rapid industrialization and modernization has led China to become the one of the world’s largest economies, but, in the meantime, caused China high social costs for the economic miracle, in particular, environmental pollution. Therefore, China’s National People’s Congress has identified “improve environmental protection” as one of the five major goals for the 13th Five-Year Plan.

The seminar explored opportunities to realize this goal, borrowing the best practice from foreign countries in environmental protection to improve China's policy making. The discussion was divided in two parts, with the first one focused setting political agenda for environmental health issues. The participants compared the environmental health situation in China and the rest of the world, and discussed the issues such as how civil society pushes the government to include environmental health in political agenda. The second part was focused on the formulation and implementation of environmental health policies, looking into the challenges of environmental health issues to policymakers and the roles of market and civil society in the implementation of environmental policies.