App shows who is polluting – level 3

15-05-2015 07:00

China is routinely in the headlines for suffering from some of the worst air pollution in the world. But a new app is attempting to change all of that by naming and shaming the culprits.

The Blue Map app compiles emissions data which is supplied by the factories themselves to local governments and allows users to see which companies are exceeding the official standards. The app allows them to share the figures on social media and even report the firms to the local environmental protection bureau.

Ma Jun, founder of the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, is excited about this introduction but admits that the government’s willingness to supply the data took him by surprise. 

“I think previously there’s never been this extent of interaction between the citizen and the government. I think this is a very good experiment. I hope this experiment can lead to a more effective solution to the pollution issue. This way, there will be more faith and more openness and there will be more encouragement for the public participation.”

With no less than 16 of the world’s 20 cities with the worst air pollution, the app can’t come a moment too soon.

Difficult words: pollution (small things in the air or water that are bad for living things), attempt (try), culprit (someone who did something wrong), emission (gas), exceed (to do something too much), bureau (office), extent (amount), issue (problem).



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