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Environmental performance rating and disclosure - China's green-watch program (Inglês)

This paper describes a new incentive-based pollution control program in China in which the environmental performance of firms is rated and reported to the public. Firms are rated from best to worst using five colors-green, blue, yellow, red, and black-and the ratings are disseminated to the public through the media. The impact has been substantial, suggesting that public disclosure provides a significant incentive for firms to improve their environmental performance. The paper focuses on the experience of the first two disclosure programs, in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province and Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. Successful implementation of these programs at two very different levels of economic and institutional development suggests that public disclosure should be feasible in most of China. The Zhenjiang and Hohhot experiences have also shown that performance disclosure can significantly reduce pollution, even in settings where environmental nongovernmental organizations are not very active and there is no formal channel for public participation in environmental regulation.

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