Clean air in urban China: The case of inter-agency coordination in Chongqing's Blue Sky Program

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Abstract

Air pollution in urban China is increasingly attributed to dispersed sources such as motor vehicles and construction sites, over which environmental protection bureaus (EPBs) share jurisdiction with other government line agencies. The problem of multiple oversight bodies, with sometimes divergent goals, challenges EPBs regarding the achievement of environmental results. To do this, they need to be empowered with capacities as both green ambassadors and stringent enforcers, besides being intelligent planners and vigilant monitors. Across the country, the supply of institutional capacity for tackling air pollution does not match the demand. However, the article finds that setting up inter-agency coordinating mechanisms enhanced the management and enforcement capacities of Chongqing's EPB in implementing Chongqing's Blue Sky Program and thus builds hope that similar measures will help bring clean air to all of urban China. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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