Zhixiong Huang argues for more active role of Chinese NGOs in climate change debate.

Zhixiong Huang in his chapter “The Development of NGOs in China: A Case Study on their Involvement with Climate Change” in the book “China´s Influence on Non-Trade Concerns in International Economic Law” reveals that there is a thriving collaboration and coordination between the State and civil society working in the field of environmental protection and climate change. The Chinese government has recognized that NGOs might be also perceived as one of the useful channels to solve environmental problems. The concept of civil society in China needs to be seen in the country´s specific political context. For instance, the term NGOs is not used in China to describe civil society organizations. The term “social organizations” is widely used in China, emphasizing their role as one of the important societal actors in the complex web of the Chinese society. The fields of environmental protection and climate change count increasingly as non-controversial, as the Government has also official declared its commitment to combat climate change and to improve environmental protection. Hence, the Government in order to realize its own objectives rely on the support of Chinese NGOs. Thus, social organizations might for instance submit proposals and amendments to the existing legislation, which are essentially taken over and adopted by the Government. The task of civil society organizations is to repeatedly confirm and defend relevance of their existence and activities before the Chinese government. An important step, in this regard, represent the more and more frequent participation in international fora, such as the Copenhagen Summit or the Conference of Parties in Bali. These occasions provide social organizations with an opportunity to present their work and get international exposure. Such activities might also help organizations to enhance their expertise, which might strengthen their position in relation to the Government.