Environmental protests in China on dramatic rise, expert says
Beijing stopped releasing statistics on mass protests several years ago to allay public concern, but a new official report indicates a sharp rise in the number of environmental protests in the most recent year for which figures have been kept.
The number of major environmental protests in China grew by 120 per cent from 2010 to 2011, according to Yang Chaofei, vice-chairman of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences.
According to Yang, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has handled a total of 927 incidents since 2005, 72 of which were classified as major incidents. He said that incidents involving heavy metal pollution and dangerous chemicals have been on the rise since 2010.
The Caijing report references recent information from Xinhua and the Beijing News, the latter of which responded to Yang's claim that only 1 per cent of environmental disputes are resolved in court with an editorial calling for an overhaul of existing environmental law.
Key problems, writes Beijing News, include abuse of protection from environmental lawsuits, and the lack of provisions allowing for lawsuits which seek compensation for environmental damage.
Articles on previous environmental protests: