30,000 Chinese ‘Occupy’ Highway to Protest Polluting Coal Plants

 

Written by Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress

Tens of thousands of residents in China’s southern Guandong Province gathered in the streets last week, occupying a highway to demonstrate against the development of a new coal plant near Shantou city. The residents say existing coal plants in the area are fouling local air and water, and are making people sick.

Each year, protests spring up to counter the construction of dirty coal plants. But this appears to be the biggest yet. Officials now say they will abandon plans to build a new coal plant in the area. Two people were reportedly killed in clashes with police, but the government is denying those reports.

China’s coal use has exploded over the last few decades. Since 1980, coal consumption in China has grown 500%, and now represents three quarters of consumption in Asia. That has coincided with a five-fold increase of lung cancer since 1970, now the leading cause of death in China. (Of course, an increase in smoking is also a huge contributor.)

Watch the protesters gather in the streets throughout Guandong Province protesting coal plants and local land rights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5vdncZbkmsw

This post was originally published by Climate Progress, a division on ThinkProgress.

 

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Photo from Joost J. Bakker via flickr

52 comments

Olivia Lim
Olivia Lim3 years ago

we need to have a movement like that here in the u.s!

Robert G.
Robert G.3 years ago

Good for them for standing up to the government... If only more people did that.

Lynn D.
Lynn D.3 years ago

China has more then coal pollution problems....................

Elizabeth Sowers
Liz Sowers3 years ago

Good that their protests were actually able to get higher govt officials to respond in a more constructive fashion with the power plant temporarily postponed. Sounds like alot of different things going on here. Thanks for the article.

federico bortoletto

Grazie per l'articolo.

Berny P.
Berny p.4 years ago

CHINA HAS ONE RULE......IMPRISON THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RIGHT.....

GIVE POWER AND MONEY TO THE PEOPLE WHO DO WRONG OR DONT CARE...

SIMPLE REALLY!

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago

Brave people.

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Winn Adams
Winnie Adams4 years ago

Bravo!!!

Brian F.
Brian F.4 years ago

Human beings are destroying this earth, and it's time that we move into clean solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and biogas energy, like Germany is doing. We should get rid of nuclear power with it's waste and safety concerns, as well as natural gas with it's fracking problems, and coal, with it's mercury pollution problems. We need a marshall plan to move into clean wind, solar, and geothermal energy to save the planet.