China eases litigation by NGOs against polluters

Government ministries also guarantee support to environmental protection NGOs

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 14 January 2015


NGOs in China can now sue violators of environmental laws anywhere in the country irrespective of where they are registered, Chinese official news agency Xinhua reported last week.  The country’s Supreme People’s Court has stated many measures to support NGOs to file cases against environment violators in its ruling. 

China is the world’s highest emitter of greenhouse gases and is battling alarmingly high levels of domestic air pollution.

According to the court, any NGO that carries out environmental protection activities will be recognised as an "environmental protection NGO”. It also announced that court charges in such litigation would be reduced and paid by the defendant if the NGO wins the case.

China’s civil affairs and environmental protection ministries also issued a circular in support of such litigation. Xinhua quoted a ministry official confirming that there were more than 700 environmental protection NGOs in the country as of September 2014.
At the same time, the court ruling said that those NGOs who seek to profit from such litigation would be punished by their registered offices.

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