There’s an App For That: The Role of Data Transparency in the War on Pollution

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Manage episode 191946612 series 1156185
By Off The Charts Energy Podcast, Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and UChicago Podcast Network. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Over the past two decades, rapid economic growth powered by cheap, conventional energy had fueled an incredible increase in Chinese living standards lifting millions out of poverty. Yet today, China is grappling with a new challenge: the environmental costs of that growth, most commonly experienced through dangerously high levels of air pollution that are shortening lives throughout the country. Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun is helping to change that. After convincing the Chinese government to encourage the release of real-time pollution data from industrial facilities, Jun and his nonprofit Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs created a smart phone app that allows the public to see, and report, where the worst polluters are located. This approach to pollution abatement, built on transparency, focuses on putting information out in the open in an organized and easily-accessible way, allowing citizens to call for change. Many in China credit the effort for helping to usher in recent signs of progress, and other countries are looking to the work as a model. EPIC hosted Ma Jun for a talk on the role of transparency, citizen engagement, and the future of environmental regulation.

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