Pan Yue (Chinese: 潘岳; pinyin: Pān Yuè; born April 1960) is executive vice president of the Central Academy of Socialism in Beijing (rank equivalent of minister). An environmental journalist-turned-activist, Pan has spent much of his public career agitating for environmental causes, for which he has gained international recognition. He was the recipient of the 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Award. He served as Vice Minister of Environmental Protection between 2008 and 2015.
Pan Yue was born in 1960 in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, the son of Pan Tian, a commanding officer in the quasi-military China Railway Corps, and Zhou Lan, a military medic. Pan joined the military in 1976, and followed the footsteps of his father to serve in the railway military corps. Thereafter, he became a journalist, starting his career in 1982 in the Economic Daily and the China Environment Journal, where he worked until 1986. He rose to become the deputy chief editor of China Youth Daily between 1989 and 1993 before becoming director of the China Youth Research Center, an organization under the Communist Youth League.
Between 1994 and 2003 he cycled through a series of deputy directorships at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC); the State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision; the Economic Restructuring Office of the State Council. Pan was noted to have ascended to deputy-minister ranks at the age of only 34, a rare feat.
He was then named the senior deputy director (第一副局长) of the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). In March 2008 SEPA's name was changed to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Pan's title became Vice Minister. As an environmental official, Pan had a track record of going after companies for their pollution records. BusinessWeek described him as "a courageous voice for a greener China."
Pan believes the fundamental cause of the global environmental crisis is the capitalist system. "The environmental crisis has become a new means of transferring the economic crisis," he said. He also advocated concepts such as Green GDP. Pan said to a journalist, "China's environmental pollution record when its GDP was 400 to 1000 U.S. dollars was comparable to a developed country whose GDP was between 3,000 to 10,000 U.S. dollars."
He was named Person of the Year 2007 by British weekly politics magazine New Statesman. It labeled Pan "...a rare, if not lone, public voice within the Chinese government warning that disaster threatens unless development is checked" and quoted him as saying "This miracle will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace." Pan was one of the recipients of the 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Award for "his enterprising leadership and undeniable success in demonstrating how village-level economic development can be achieved without damage to the environment."
In 2016, Pan was named executive vice president of the Central Academy of Socialism, ascending to provincial-ministerial ranks.