Citizen Complaints about Environmental Pollution: A Survey Study in Suzhou, China

Xianbing Liu, Yanli Dong, Can Wang, Tomohiro Shishime


This paper discusses environmental complaints made by citizens living close to industrial polluters in China. Data collected from a questionnaire survey in Suzhou City is used for the analysis. The results confirm a marginal level of citizen environmental complaints in the study area at present. Meaningful findings include the fact that citizens have a tendency to complain collectively, and that perception of the level of environmental information provided by companies significantly determines a citizen’s likelihood of lodging environmental complaints. Therefore, the disclosure of corporate environmental information must be emphasized continuously; citizens must be encouraged to correctly understand the environmental performance of companies so that they might make appropriate complaints. Governments need to show their support for citizen-led environmental complaint initiatives. The successful cases would convince them to keep a closer eye on their neighbouring polluters.

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