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Effective Environmental Protection in the Context of Government Decentralization

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  • ZhongXiang Zhang

    (East-West Center)

Abstract

China has shifted control over resources and decision making to local governments and enterprises as the result of the economic reforms over the past three decades. This devolution of decision-making to local levels and enterprises has placed environmental stewardship in the hands of local officials and polluting enterprises who are more concerned with economic growth and profits than the environment. Therefore, effective environmental protection needs their full cooperation. Against this background, this paper discusses a variety of tactics that China’s central government has been using to incentivize local governments, and a number of market-based instruments, supporting economic policies, environmental performance ratings and disclosure and cooperation with financial institutions to promote long-lasting, improved corporate energy-saving and environmental performance. It concludes that there is a clear need to carefully examine those objective and subjective factors that lead to the lack of local official’s cooperation on the environment, and provides some suggestions for appropriated incentives to get their cooperation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2011.17.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.17

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Keywords: Effective Environmental Protection; Incentive Structure; Economic Instruments; Industrial Policy; Financial Institutions; Government Decentralization; China;

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  1. Xavier Labandeira and Jose M. Martin-Moreno, 2009. "Climate Change Policies After 2012," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
  2. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
  3. Zhang, ZhongXiang & Baranzini, Andrea, 2004. "What do we know about carbon taxes? An inquiry into their impacts on competitiveness and distribution of income," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 507-518, March.
  4. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "China in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy," Working Papers 2010.76, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian energy and environmental policy: Promoting growth while preserving the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3905-3924, October.
  6. Zhang, Zhong-Xiang, 2007. "China is moving away the pattern of "develop first and then treat the pollution"," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3547-3549, July.
  7. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2009. "Multilateral Trade Measures in a Post-2012 Climate Change Regime?: What Can Be Taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," Working Papers 2009.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Price, Lynn & Wang, Xuejun & Yun, Jiang, 2010. "The challenge of reducing energy consumption of the Top-1000 largest industrial enterprises in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6485-6498, November.
  9. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Mamingi, Nlandu, 2001. "Pollution and Capital Markets in Developing Countries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 310-335, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Can Wang & Jie Lin & Wenjia Cai & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Policies and Practices of Low Carbon City Development in China," Working Papers 2014.09, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Programs, Prices and Policies Towards Energy Conservation and Environmental Quality in China," Working Papers 2014.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2014. "Energy Prices, Subsidies and Resource Tax Reform in China," CCEP Working Papers 1406, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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