Environmental protection has been a basic national policy since the 1980s. In 1984, the State Environmental Protection Committee was established and the first Environmental Protection Law was formally issued in 1989. After the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, China was one of the first countries to formulate and carry out a strategy of sustainable development. In 1993, the Environmental Resources Committee of the National People's Congress was set up. So far, the NPC and State Council have promulgated eight laws for environmental protection, 35 laws for management of natural resources and 34 regulations on environmental protection. Environmental protection authorities have publicized over 100 national environmental protection regulations and more than 1,000 local ones.
At the turn of the 21st century, the state responded to stresses on natural resources caused by fast economic growth, development and urbanization with a "green strategy." This includes developing a circulating economy, increasing resource-use efficiency; developing clean production, reducing pollution cost in production processes; developing green consumption, reducing the ecological impact of consumption; developing new energy resources, reforming production methods, moving towards an eco-industrial civilization, and creating a balanced eco-environment.