Environmentally vulnerable or sensitive groups exhibiting varying concerns towards air pollution can drive government response to improve air quality

Zhaohua Wang, Wenhui Zhao, Bo Wang, Jie Liu, Shuling Xu, Bin Zhang, Yefei Sun, Han Shi, Dabo Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Air pollution seriously threatens human health, and its consequences are particularly prevalent among environmentally vulnerable or sensitive groups. However, whether the concerns among these groups are different and how they affect air pollution governance remain unclear. Here, we extract 3.8 million haze-related posts from China’s Sina Weibo and analyse the concerns raised by these groups by constructing an air pollution notability index. The results show that protection is the key theme for women aged 20-35 years, while elderly individuals are easily influenced by haze-related product ads yet lack awareness of scientific-based protection. Concerns shared by young individuals are more effective in pressuring the government in cities that experience higher levels of pollution. Concerns shared by women are more effective in cities that experience lower levels of pollution. This study evidences the influence of the public concerns conveyed via social media on air pollution governance in China.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104460
JournaliScience
Volume25
Issue number6
Early online date25 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022

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