Environmental Economics: A Very Short Introduction

my appoint is Steven Smith and I’ve written environmental economics a very short introduction here are 10 things you should know about environmental financials first left to its own designs a free-market economy will not deliver the level of environmental quality that people want firms can pollute buyers can make choices without concern for the environmental results and what we need is some level of environmental regulation some level of government intervention to ensure that those decisions take account of the interests of the rest of society second environmental economics is about this necessary intervention in the workings of the economy it’s about how much environmental quality do we want and what’s the best way of get it third environmental financials is not a Dogma it’s a framework for thinking about the fundamental choices and trade-offs in environmental policy for weighing up the advantages and weakness of different causes of action it can be used relatively flexibly to be considered a range of different issues in Environmental Policy environmental problems on the regional magnitude and local industrial contamination for example right through to the major problems of global climate change impacts fourth eliminating pollution absolutely is unlikely to be feasible or undoubtedly unlikely to be desirable what environmental financials helps us to do is think about the costs and benefits the advantages and disadvantages of more or less environmental protection fifth environmental economists are skeptical about conventional legal approaches to environmental regulation so-called command and control approach to environmental regulation based on detailed law rules can tend to be inflexible and overly costly CINCs market mechanisms which application costs or taxes to discourage pollution are more flexible and can achieve reductions in pollution at lower costs seven emissions trading systems like the European emission trading scheme for carbon dioxide reduce pollution by setting a conglomerate cap on emissions and allow flexibility by allowing firms to trade houses that have high costs of reducing emissions can buy admits from houses that are able to achieve emissions reductions more cheaply and in this way the system increases the overall economic cost of achieving a given environmental aftermath 8 a lot of research in environmental fiscals is about trying to assess people’s concerns about the environment in the broadest possible way because environmental financials was not only about the costs and benefits that figure in company reports or things that cost money in the economy it involves a much broader view of social appreciate and of environmental benefit knowing tackle climate change will need coordinated international action it’s a world-wide trouble affected by the global accumulation of carbon dioxide in the flavor and individual countries acting alone can do exclusively a very small impact on the overall difficulty but would incur substantial penalties from any action that they take a real meaningful international lot on climate change is the only way in which we’re likely to make significant progress 10 tackling climate change will require major changes in the way that their own economies raises and uses energy and in the decisions of firms and individuals about yield and intake The Economist argument is that these major changes spread across all of society will occur we achieved at much lower economic cost and much more effectively with less disruption to the way in which we develop and expend then if we tried to achieve the same outcomes through detailed law drug about how people react

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