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The Effect of Public Participation on Environmental Governance in China–Based on the Analysis of Pollutants Emissions Employing a Provincial Quantification

by 1 and 1,2,*
1
School of Economics and Resource Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Statistics, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072302
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
For a long time, governments and enterprises have been the two main subjects for environmental governance in China. With the growing complexities of environmental issues and the improvement of public environmental awareness, public participation is gradually playing an important role in the process of China’s environmental governance. This paper aims to explore the necessity, the rationale, and the specific effect of public participation on environmental governance in China. A theoretical model is first proposed to illustrate the significance of public participation. Then, an empirical model is built to investigate the impact of public participation on pollutant emissions of the four main pollutants SO2, NOx, COD, and NH4, based on the panel data of 30 provinces from 2011 to 2015 in China. The results and main findings are: (1) public environmental complaints exert a noticeable and positive impact on the reductions of pollutants; (2) this impact varies according to different pollutants, among which reducing SO2 emissions shows the most efficiency; and (3) the impact of public participation on the reduction of pollutants shows the characteristics of hysteresis and regional difference. We find that when the rate of public participation of lagging one period increases by 1%, the reduction of SO2 is 5.03 tons per capita, 1.54 tons per capita, and 0.94 tons per capita in the region of middle, east, and west China, respectively. Therefore, the status of public participation should be strengthened and effective public participation is urgently needed in environmental governance. A systematic cooperative governance among the public, governments, and enterprises needs to be established in the long run. View Full-Text
Keywords: public participation; environmental governance; pollutants reduction public participation; environmental governance; pollutants reduction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, T.; Chen, C. The Effect of Public Participation on Environmental Governance in China–Based on the Analysis of Pollutants Emissions Employing a Provincial Quantification. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2302. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072302

AMA Style

Zhang T, Chen C. The Effect of Public Participation on Environmental Governance in China–Based on the Analysis of Pollutants Emissions Employing a Provincial Quantification. Sustainability. 2018; 10(7):2302. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072302

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Tong, and Chaofan Chen. 2018. "The Effect of Public Participation on Environmental Governance in China–Based on the Analysis of Pollutants Emissions Employing a Provincial Quantification" Sustainability 10, no. 7: 2302. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072302

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