Recently, Swedish media reported that a Chinese environmental organization is suing Volkswagen's Chinese import company for their import of diesel vehicles with manipulated software. The lawsuit is the first of its kind and is based on an updated environmental legislation that IVL has contributed to.
China's rapid economic development has taken a great toll on the environment. The levels of air pollution in large cities are alarming, as are hazardous emissions in soil and water, and they often affect the civilians. At the same time the public's environmental rights have been strongly limited.
The lawsuit against Volkswagen is a first of its kind. For the first time a non-governmental organization is taking a car manufacturer to court. The environmental organization China's fund for biodiversity and green development is basing the lawsuit on a recently updated legislation. A legislation that in turn is based on recommendations from a policy report prepared by the IVL-led project EGP-Guizhou.
– It is exciting to see how China's updated legislation is now creating new circumstances for the civil society to, with legal tools, push for better environmental actions. I hope we will see more cases like this, says Mikael Olshammar, leading the project EGP-Guizhou.
The aim of the EGP-Guizhou is to build knowledge, information channels, policies, laws and regulations to protect and improve people's environmental rights in China. The project is funded by Europe Aid and the Chinese Environment Ministry.