Millennium Post

China encourages eco social groups to sue

China on Wednesday granted public interest groups more power to sue those that flout environmental protection laws, the country’s highest court said, as Beijing steps up efforts to curb pollution that regularly chokes major cities.

Social groups that work to fight polluters judicially will gain special status and have court fees
reduced, the Supreme People’s Court said on its website.

They will also be allowed to sue firms or individuals across China, regardless of where the organisation is based. The term the court used for the groups covers both NGOs and government-backed organisations, although it was not immediately clear whether independent environmentalists will benefit from the regulations.

China has more than 700 registered and regulated environmental protection groups, the official Xinhua news agency cited a ministry official as saying. The new rules came into force today, the court said.

A side effect of the country’s meteoric economic rise of recent decades has been severe pollution in major cities, leading to increased public dissatisfaction.


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