China may have significantly tightened internet controls over the past decade, but social media is still a powerful tool to publicise environmental concerns and hold regulators to account, a new US-led study shows.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Chicago, found social media posts reporting environmental pollution and seeking regulatory enforcement in China helped cut such violations by as much as 62 per cent.

The impact was much less significant in the case of private appeals, such as calling a government hotline, or contacting government officials or the polluting entities.

Environmental violations in such cases fell by only 24 per cent, even when the complaints had the same content as the public appeals, the researchers found.

Continue reading at South China Morning Post…

Areas of Focus: EPIC-China
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EPIC-China
China is indisputably critical to addressing the global energy challenge. China is one of the world’s biggest economies, its top carbon emitter, and among its most polluted countries. Yet, China...
Environment
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Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
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Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...