Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Environmental Inequality in China: A ‘Pyramid Model’ and Nationwide Pilot Analysis of Prefectures with Sources of Industrial Pollution

Version 1 : Received: 10 October 2017 / Approved: 10 October 2017 / Online: 10 October 2017 (11:47:20 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

He, Q.; Fang, H.; Ji, H.; Fang, S. Environmental Inequality in China: A “Pyramid Model” and Nationwide Pilot Analysis of Prefectures with Sources of Industrial Pollution. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1871. He, Q.; Fang, H.; Ji, H.; Fang, S. Environmental Inequality in China: A “Pyramid Model” and Nationwide Pilot Analysis of Prefectures with Sources of Industrial Pollution. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1871.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2017, 9, 1871
DOI: 10.3390/su9101871

Abstract

In China, environmental pollution generated via industrialization as well as the profound changes in the social structure and gradual maturation of the social hierarchy have jointly contributed to the Chinese people's increased environmental consciousness and appeals for environmental justice (EJ). Because of the absence of an EJ theory and a lack of empirical research focused on China, this paper proposes a ‘Pyramid Model’ for China’s EJ research that involves the following three factors: basic demographic and socioeconomic factors, U.S.-based EJ principles, and Chinese characteristics. A nationwide pilot analysis of environmental inequity at the prefecture level is conducted by empirically studying the association of demographics and socioeconomic status with sources of industrial pollution in China. The prefecture-based results are shown to be robust and indicate that areas inhabited by ethnic minorities and western regions in China carry disproportionate environmental burdens. However, a different picture for migrants is presented, revealing that Chinese migrants are not currently exposed to greater levels of industrial pollution, and relevant interpretations of these findings are provided. The results also show that environmental inequality associated with income level, which is observed in the U.S., does not occur in China.

Subject Areas

environmental inequality; environmental justice; industrial pollution; prefectures; demographic and socioeconomic factors; China

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