ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content



September 2018

Through our connection with Dimitri de Boer, who was previously the director of the EU/China Environmental Governance, Latham & Watkins has participated in a number of events sponsored by ClientEarth in relation to environmental issues in China.  Most recently, in September 2018 Paul Davies was invited to participate in ClientEarth’s annual planning meeting, which was attended by representatives of the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Dr. Wu Shunze, director general of PRCEE, and Professor Ma Jun.  Topics discussed at the meeting include:

  • Climate change – opportunities created by climate change moving under MEE
  • Soil pollution – next steps after passage of the soil pollution law
  • Permitting reform
  • Belt & Road Initiative
  • Single use plastics in China

Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE)

Tue, 06/26/2018 

Selecting and compiling examples of Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act permits for contacts at MEP.

Producing a comparative analysis of soil pollution legislation across Europe.

Preparing a comparative analysis of permit enforcement methods and associated penalties in the UK, Germany, France and the US.

Providing input on multinational participants for a roundtable on environmental issues coinciding with the US-China JCEC.

Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Tue, 06/26/2018

In December 2017, Mr. Scott Fulton, President of ELI, and Mr. Paul Davies, partner of Latham Watkins, participated in a capacity-building workshop hosted by ClientEarth, focusing on environmental cases including administrative enforcement and regulatory enforcement.

Great Britain China Centre (GBCC)

February 2017 

LW prepared a report for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Great Britain China Center on the rule of law in China to identify areas of potential cooperation. Key topics addressed in the report include:

  • China’s current policy objectives
  • Potential overlap between Chinese and UK policy objectives
  • Sustainability and the rule of law
  • Outline of potential projects and next steps

In addition, after delivery of the report, Paul Davies attended the UK China Rule of Law Belt and Road Workshop organised by the Great Britain China Centre and the China Law Society in November 2016.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Paul Davies was invited by IETA to speak on the new Trading Scheme. The National Development Reform Commission (NDRC - the key Chinese regulatory authority responsible for implementing the new legislation) was also represented on the panel.

Paul Davies participated in a seminar on February 8, 2017 to discuss China’s national emissions trading (ETS) system aimed to improve understanding of how the ETS is designed and how it will function during its first phase (to 2019).

Latham is one of a handful of law firms working with IETA China Working Group on the development of new trading documents.

Municipality of Chongqing

June, 2016

Via our contacts at Southwest University of Politics and Law in Chongqing, Latham & Watkins was invited to participate in a workshop in Chongqing looking at the new Emissions Trading Scheme in June, 2016. The workshop was attended Chinese regulatory authorities, local and foreign companies and other advisers.

Supreme People’s Court (SPC)

November, 2016

Latham & Watkins hosted a delegation of judges in partnership with the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) for a capacity-building workshop in November 2016.

Paul Davies also attended the first International Workshop on the Judicial Response to Climate Change hosted by the Foreign Affairs Bureau, Supreme People’s Court of China in June 2016. Following this, he participated in a National Environmental Judges Training Course in Beijing.

Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE)

November 2015 

Latham & Watkins prepared an analysis of how confidential business information is treated for reporting and disclosure purposes under environmental laws in the US and the EU.

Latham also provided information and materials on environmental diligence as conducted in the US.

China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development

Consultation - CCICED - Corporate Disclosure.pdf 

Latham & Watkins LLP

October 29, 2015

In response to a request from the Minister of Environmental Protection, Latham prepared a summary of corporate disclosure laws and enforcement approaches in the United States and EU in cooperation with the EU Governance Project.  Specific topics addressed in the summary include:

  • Scope and liability for disclosure obligations
  • Incentives and enforcement for environmental disclosures
  • Protection of confidential business information
  • Collection and public disclosure of environmental data
  • Enforcement case studies

China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development

We were invited by China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development to submit details of soil pollution legislation across Europe. Working with our French, Spanish, German and Italian colleagues, we produced a comparative analysis and submitted this to MEP.  Areas addressed included:

  • Systems established to identify contaminated land.
  • Threshold values applied to identify contamination which triggers obligations under relevant and the extent to which the public is involved in the process.
  • Standards used for remediation.
  • Scope of enforcement authorities and mechanisms used to monitor the performance of lower levels of government and regulatory bodies
  • How liability is determined, allocated, and financial assurance requirements.
  • Challenges associated with implementing soil pollution regulations in various jurisdictions.

CIBDEG Launch Report

Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE)

Latham provided an explanation of environmental permitting systems in the United Kingdom, including a comprehensive account of enforcement policies and procedures, including how environmental agencies define and classify violations; the consideration agencies take into account when characterizing permit violations versus operational abnormalities; response policies and the burdens of proof companies must uphold to defend alleged violations; and industry specific application of the forgoing related to certain industries.