Industrial SO2 pollution and agricultural losses in China: evidence from heavy air polluters
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Cleaner Production. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 64 (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.10.027
This paper aims to assess the agricultural losses caused by the 2069 state-monitored heavily air polluting enterprises located in 899 Chinese counties. We examine the correlation between per capita number of state-monitored enterprises and other socio-economic indices to show the negative impacts of sulphur dioxide (SO2) industrial air pollution on agricultural development in the regions. Despite these enterprises being the main drivers of economic development in China’s counties, surrounding agricultural land continues to be degraded because of the associated SO2 emissions. The cost of agricultural losses due to pollution is estimated at US$ 1.43 billion, representing 0.66% of the total agricultural value added of the 899 Chinese counties. The findings highlight the importance of cleaner production and have policy implications for dealing with industrial air pollution.
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