Environmental Policies Enter the Educational Sector: Different Shades of Green at District Level
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Environmental policies are cross-sectoral by nature, and during their implementation, they have to be adapted to the differing contexts of different sectors. Furthermore, there is variation in the implementation process between different geographical areas. In this chapter, Luova looks at how two inner urban districts in the city of Tianjin (one poor and one wealthy) implement their new environmental plans in the educational sector. Chinese urban districts have substantial freedom to adapt educational policies to fit local conditions, and schools themselves are encouraged to define and to emphasize their own specific priorities. Under these circumstances, how can environmental policy goals be reached in an effective way, asks Luova? Her findings show that, with regard to numerical targets, the poor district did better than the rich one. This was because a green profile was cheap to acquire, it opened the door to substantial external funding, and it made possible an improved bargaining position vis-à-vis the city government. However, the rich district was able to provide solid resources for its schools, enabling them to excel in terms of qualitative objectives: i.e. nurturing green lifestyles and promoting respect for the environment. The study highlights (1) specific features of environmental policy implementation in the educational sector, (2) various policy implementation processes in inner urban districts, and (3) the importance of clear qualitative targets in the definition of policy goals. In the conclusion, Luova proposes a model for examining governance dynamics in urban China.
KeywordsTianjin Urban districts Policy variation Environmental education
In writing this chapter, I have received support from the Academy of Finland (grant no. 116755).
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