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21 Dez 2021


China's bid to run Winter Olympics on wind and solar energy exposes nearby farmers to land grabs, activists warn

"Human cost of China's green energy rush ahead of Winter Olympics", 21 December 2021

Beaten, forced off their land, cheated out of money, and even falsely imprisoned -- farmers in China say they are paying a heavy price as authorities rush to deliver on ambitious pledges to ramp up national green energy output.

China has vowed the upcoming Winter Olympics 2022 will be the first Games to be run entirely on wind and solar energy, and have built scores of facilities to increase capacity -- but activists warn ordinary people are being exploited by "land grabs" in the process. [...]

"We were promised just 1,000 yuan per mu of land each year when the power company leased the land for 25 years," farmer Long from Huangjiao village said, using a Chinese unit of land equal to approximately 667 square metres.

Pi says villagers were forced to sign contracts -- seen by AFP -- leasing their land to the solar park built by State Power Investment Group (SPIC), one of the five biggest utility companies in the country.

Those who didn't agree were beaten by the police, he said, adding "some were hospitalised, some were detained." [...]

Priyanka Mogul from The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, a UK-based non-profit that has studied the impact of Chinese renewable investments abroad, said some developers had also been accused of controversial practices when acquiring land overseas.

"The most prevalent issue was inadequate disclosure of environmental impact assessment (data)... followed by issues related to land rights and loss of livelihoods," she said. [...]