In 2021 and 2022, Beijing courts annulled three contracts for cryptocurrency mining, holding that they were contrary to the public interest. The judges based their decisions on Chinese law provisions concerning contractual validity and supported their arguments by citing various policy documents warning of the risks of cryptocurrency-related activities to financial market stability and energy consumption. Although the provisions that the courts cited were recently reformed, the courts' line of reasoning and approach may set an example for future cases concerning carbon-intensive activities. This note therefore considers these judgements in the broader context of climate change litigation, reflecting on the role of courts in implementing industrial and microeconomic policy in the interpretation of contract law.
Zhu, M. (2023). The ‘bitcoin judgements’ in China: Promoting climate awareness by judicial reasoning? Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, 32(1), 158–162. https://doi.org/10.1111/reel.12496