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Information Disclosure in Environmental Risk Management: Developments in China

Author

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  • Arthur P. J. Mol

    ()

  • Guizhen He

    ()

  • Lei Zhang

    ()

Abstract

Entering the twenty-first century, China has been the site of many serious environmental disasters and accidents. These have strengthened the call for the establishment of an environmental risk management system and for the development of new policies to effectively manage risk. Among the new policies in China’s environmental risk management strategy are pollution insurance and information disclosure. This paper explores information disclosure policies through the implementation of the Environmental Information Disclosure Decree by governmental authorities and companies. In both 2008 and 2010, we reviewed the websites of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and all 31 provincial Environmental Protection Bureaus, conducted experiments in requesting information disclosure, and held interviews with all provincial Environmental Protection Bureaus. We conclude that the implementation of the Environmental Information Disclosure Decree is improving but still far from widespread, full and effective. The lack of enforcement and the ambiguity of some clauses in the decree give provincial environmental agencies great discretion to avoid disclosure and discourages enforcement of company environmental information disclosure. Implementation shortcomings of the decree are also related to the longstanding closeness, secrecy and monopoly of information in China’s political system.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur P. J. Mol & Guizhen He & Lei Zhang, 2011. "Information Disclosure in Environmental Risk Management: Developments in China," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 40(3), pages 163-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:163-192
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    File URL: http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jcca/article/view/453/456
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gørild Heggelund & Ellen Backer, 2007. "China and UN environmental policy: institutional growth, learning and implementation," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 415-438, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. He, Guizhen & Mol, Arthur P.J. & Zhang, Lei & Lu, Yonglong, 2013. "Public participation and trust in nuclear power development in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 1-11.
    2. Susannah M. Davis & Dirk C. Moosmayer, 2014. "Greening the Field? How NGOs Are Shaping Corporate Social Responsibility in China," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 43(4), pages 75-110.

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