On September 4, 2020, a seminar on the Yanchang Petroleum Pipeline Oil Spill Contamination Incident and its public interest litigation case convened by China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) was held in Beijing. CBCGDF Secretary-General Zhou Jinfeng interpreted the case from the perspective of ecological civilization based on the progress of the case.
Dr. Zhou explained from four aspects:
First, there is still a long way to go in the study and understanding of ecological civilization. We believe that there is still a big gap in how to implement the idea of ecological civilization in the process of industrial civilization production and life. For example, in a protected area, some leaders said that we were not allowed to engage in economic construction for a few donkeys, saying that we were wrong. As a result, the leaders of the country gave instructions twice and finally cancelled the protected area for the sixth time. What is the idea of ecological civilization and what is “Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” In practice, it really needs to be studied carefully.
When everyone is studying, especially in the production sector, they are used to thinking from the perspective of their own production. They attach great importance to poverty alleviation, economic development, and GDP, instead of putting lucid waters and lush mountains in the first place. This is a common understanding problem. In Tengger, Qilian Mountains, Qinghai and other places, we have filed lawsuits on different issues. Relevant leaders have also approached us. A common view is that solving the people’s food and clothing problems is a national plan and more important than ecology, but people’s livelihood does not mean sacrificing the environment and destroying nature.
In addition, regarding the excessive packaging of moon cakes, we have been paying attention for two years. We have some opinions and suggestions on the series of standard work of the Standards Committee. In fact, it is not learning the idea of ecological civilization. The excessive packaging of moon cakes stems from the lack of a set standard for the packaging of moon cakes. After four years of attention, this year, national leader mentioned the problem of excessive packaging of moon cakes.
We published intensive articles in June and July demanding food savings. In August, the national leader’s speech mentioned the need to save food, and now all sectors of society are beginning to advocate saving.
Second, the idea of ecological civilization must not be viewed from the perspective of traditional industrial civilization. This is the requirement of the new civilization era. Because the number of CBCGDF personnel is very limited, and the number of lawsuits is not large, we are carefully considering things that are warning and universal and can promote the resolution of problems by inferences.
Third, as far as the specific case of Yanchang Petroleum Company is concerned, it is extremely typical. The oil spill has occurred for so long, and the other party’s attitude is not positive. The impact of pollution on unspecified groups of people and the maintenance of social and public environmental interests are very important contents of the law. It is not only the drinking water problem of individual people, but the oil spill has an extremely profound impact on the soil, groundwater, microorganisms, and organisms involved. These impacts will eventually have a serious impact on human habitats and basic needs for a good environment.
Fourth, for such a typical case of safeguarding the public interest of the environment, only by earnestly seeking a solution can the issue of how companies serve the society, how to develop the economy, and how to assume their own social responsibilities under the requirements of the new era of ecological civilization. We think this is quite typical. Including subsequent environmental assessment and restoration, it also contains two links: one is the treatment of environmental pollution, which must be done; The other is the restoration of the ecological environment. How to consider this link is also an interdisciplinary and multi-field work, and the idea of ecological civilization must also be implemented in this process.
Today, I am very grateful to experts in the field of law and environmental damage identification for participating in this seminar. Thank you for your attention to the work of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), and hope that you will give us your advice. We also hope that you can express your different attitudes and opinions. On behalf of the CBCGDF, I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone for coming today, thank you all!
Original Chinese article:
By / Xu Li Modified / Maggie