In an unprecedented legal case, a group of Chinese lawyers have charged the governments of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei with failing to protect their citizens from air pollution, which is linked to a third of all deaths in the country
Who is responsible for China’s chronic and deadly air pollution? That depends on who you ask. Officials blame the weather or outdoor barbecues, activists blame steel companies and coal-fired power plants. But Yu Wensheng blames only one actor: the government.
The 50-year-old lawyer recently launched an unprecedented suit against the authorities in three regions in China, claiming they have failed in their responsibilities. For a government with the motto “Serve the People”, Yu feels the officials are serving other interests by allowing nearly half a billion people to choke on toxic smog.
We have laws, regulations and systems to combat pollution, but they’re not being enforced