• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically examine the merits and defects of the various approaches to dealing with environmental problems.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critically examine the merits and defects of the various approaches to dealing with environmental problems. Since the 1970's there has been a massive shift from national environmental policy to EU policies. Environmental problems can be tackled from two angles. The first being that of treating pollution causes. The second, tackling the symptoms of pollution. Within these two areas are contained various approaches to dealing with environmental problems. These approaches have both advantages and disadvantages and this is what will be discussed within this essay. Two main approaches can be identified in which several attributes are included. These approaches are called 'Command and Control' and 'Market Based' approach. The discussion will evaluate the different attributes and instruments available to each approach, focusing on their practicalities for the nation adopting those practices. We start by focusing firstly on the topic of dealing with symptoms of environmental problems, and more specifically, the command and control approach. The essence of this theory is the use of regulation. Regulation in itself can be broken down into its different forms such as prohibitions, maximum limits, directives and standards. These are the features that will be analysed closely. Standards can be defined as, "qualities that establish norms against which compliance or deviance is measured"1. Theses standards can be applied to all forms of pollution which is one of the benefits of using them. They are dictated by the EU but can also be introduced by national governments, as stated in the UK's Environmental Protection Act 1990, "Secretary of State may establish limits for the total amount of any particular substance....based on these limits, quotas may be allocated to persons carrying on processes involving the release of the substances,"2. ...read more.

Middle

The directive can be adapted regionally or locally if necessary. This flexibility allows Governments to apply EU rules but to their own extent," directives address Member States and normally oblige them to act in a certain way,"8. The position is that the directives are not demands or prohibitions but rules and guidelines. This can lead to a misinterpretation where expectations of results are not achieved because the Governments may not be fined or individuals are not fined for breaking the directives. There are other defects to using regulations to control pollution problems. One of these defects is that there are very few incentives for companies and individuals to work strictly to regulations, unlike in Sweden where rather that fine companies for polluting, they pay them to not pollute9. There is often little profit to be made for companies to operate environmentally correct, and therefore many companies work to the highest limits that they legally can. The central core of the market based approach is the 'polluter pays principle'. This idea was first stated in the 1973 'EC Action program, and later cemented in the 'European Convention in Civil Responsibility for Damages Resulting from the Exercise of Activities Dangerous to the Environment 1974'. The polluter pays principle has led to a number of tools being used, by national Governments on the whole, to ensure that rather than the public or Government pay, the companies or individuals who do the polluting pay directly financially. One way that this is done is through taxation, "there are various degrees or taxes that can be levied with the aim of affecting behaviour towards the environment,"10. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The establishment of a specific, autonomous set of rules to protect the environment in Western Europe is anything but easy since legal systems are different and the perception of environmental problems varies considerably"16. Has this quotation from 1997 been made less accurate from the introduction of the Euro and the closer integration of the EU as a whole? Fundamentally, no. The developement of EU Environmental Policy and it's impact on EU Member States is increasing, but is still very difficult to implement in most areas, such as waste dumping. The need for an equilibrium between command and control approaches and market based strategies is crucial. Command and control approaches can be thought of as most effective in their overall environmental effectiveness, their administrative cost and EU wide adaptability. Whilst market based approaches can be seen to be best in terms of economic efficiency in terms of cost to non-polluters, and cost effectiveness because their implementation and maintenance costs are lower. With the news in the last few days that the EU is to implement a'polluter pays' legislative bill concerned with recycling17, this idea of an equilibrium of the two approaches can clearly be understood. Within this essay, the merits and defects of the main approaches in tackling environmental problems have been discussed. The instruments and tools available through both EU legislation and national law allow environmental problems to be tackled from two fronts, treating the symptoms of pollution and tackling the causes of pollution. These instruments and tools produce both positive and negative results and it is these results that determine the extent to which the tool should be implemented. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. A clear explanation of key underpinning economic theories relevant to the EU.

    essential for the competition of the internal market, competition is the main factor of the single market, as of this a competition policy was needed so firms can not take advantage of consumers and to encourage efficiency by creating a climate favourable to innovation and technological progress.

  2. An assessement of the impact of the lawyers' establishment directive.

    measures aim to secure mutual recognition of the national rules and possibly their harmonisation. C. Three[WL1] Directives Since the Reyners and Van Binsbergen judgments in 1974, the European Community has adopted three directives that impact directly on the multi-jurisdictional practice of lawyers in Europe.

  1. Managing Work Team Conflict: Assessment and Preventative Strategies

    A team facilitator can either encourage a healthy debate or allow a dysfunctional argument depending on how the facilitator handles the conflict (Bens).

  2. International Economics

    The euro was created on the 1st of January 1999 and by the time that the notes and coins were issued in January 2002 12 of the 15 EU states was members, the UK was not one of them. This issue has approached us with many different views and opinions,

  1. European financial services policy and law.

    principles and policies, one of which is extensive harmonisation of laws and regulations in the Union in order to ensure that all economic operators "play to the same rules"; In the financial services sector in the European Union, substantial progress in implementing this principle and policy has been achieved.

  2. Listed below are the main results obtained from the marketing research study. Contained in ...

    The aforementioned reasons explain why these 8 countries have been initially chosen. Tayside Quality Foods have decided to begin internationalisation because it is the feeling of the Managing Director that home competition will increase from competitors from abroad. He has a tactic of attracting these possible competitors on their own turf.

  1. Collection Management

    have come a long way in providing communities with various channels of information and it is worth considering what goods and services the public should have access to regardless of means. As the key reason people use libraries is to borrow books, libraries might consider this the area to concentrate on to increase user numbers.

  2. Cultural Factors Relating to Fraternities

    This is perceived to many as harmless, but in reality, this form of hazing can lead to serious physical damage and, in the case of Chuck Stephens, even death. Another negative cultural aspect of hazing is psychological torment. Verbal and/or mental abuse also falls into the category of hazing.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work