The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on April 24 voted to adopt revisions to the Environmental Protection Law, the first change to the legislation in 25 years.
With the addition of 23 articles, raising the total to 70 compared with 47 in the original law, the revised law sets environmental protection as the country's basic policy.
The law gives harsher punishments to environmental wrongdoing, and has specific articles and provisions on tackling smog, promoting environmental protection awareness and protecting whistleblowers.
It says that citizens should adopt a low-carbon and frugal lifestyle and perform environmental protection duties, and nominates June 5 as Environment Day.
The revised law will go into effect from January 1, 2015.