On May 31, 34th World No-Tobacco Day, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) sued the Beijing bureau of China railway group Co., Ltd., China Railway Lanzhou Group and China railway setting up smoking areas and smoking devices on the train. The public interest lawsuit over pollution damage to public interests was settled through mediation Beijing Fourth Intermediate People’s Court (B.F.I.P.C.). According to the mediation agreement, smoking areas and smoking devices on the trains involving the three defendants: Beijing bureau of China railway group Co., Ltd., China Railway Lanzhou Group and China railway will be removed entirely.
The main contents of the Mediation Agreement (see the attached picture) are as follows:
I. Within 15 days after the mediation agreement comes into effect, China Railway Lanzhou Group shall cancel the smoking area on No. K41/K42 Express Passenger Train by means of shading, blocking and reforming the ash boxes, and shall not install smoking devices, cancel the smoking area signs and give smoking control hints;
II. Within 15 days after this mediation agreement comes into effect, Beijing bureau of China railway group Co., Ltd. shall cancel the smoking area on No. Y535/Y536 tourist train by means of shading, blocking and reforming the ash box, and shall not install any smoking device, and shall cancel the sign of the smoking area and give smoking control instructions;
III. China Railway Lanzhou Group and Beijing bureau of China railway group Co., Ltd. advocate green travel and strengthen the publicity of smoking control in stations and trains;
IV. If China Railway Lanzhou Group and Beijing bureau of China railway group Co., Ltd. fail to fail to comply with Article 1 and Article 2 of the mediation agreement, CBCGDF shall have the right to apply to the court for China Railway Lanzhou Group and Beijing bureau of China railway group Co., Ltd. to fulfill the obligations as mentioned above.
[Backtracking of the case]
To push forward the construction of the “smoke-free trains and smoke-free Olympics”, after undergoing field investigations and evidence collection, CBCGDF filed a public interest lawsuit against Beijing Bureau of China Railway Group Co., Ltd., China Railway Lanzhou Group and China Railway for the K41/K42 train that passes through the 2022 Winter Olympic Games is equipped with smoking areas and smoking devices, allowing smoking to cause serious air pollution and harming passengers (especially pregnant women and minors and the old man, etc.) physical health situation. On January 4, 2021, it was formally filed in B.F.I.P.C., which is also the first case of environmental public interest litigation accepted by a people’s court after implementing the Civil Code.
CBCGDF hopes that the environmental public interest litigation can effectively solve the problems of setting up smoking sets, smoking signs and smoking areas in green cars. Meanwhile, national railway companies will shoulder the responsibility of protecting the public’s environmental rights and interests, fulfill their corporate social responsibilities promptly, strengthen supervision and management, and implement the ban on smoking in general speed passenger trains to create a suitable environment for passengers.
In April 2021, under the auspices of the court, CBCGDF mediated with the three defendants, and the lawsuit request was realized. On June 9, 2021, CBCGDF received the civil mediation document of the case.