• 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. International Economics

    To stay out of monetary union altogether and keep the pound 3. To use both the pound and the Euro, with the two linked by an exchange rate mechanism set by the UK government. With the third option, the UK will be able to keep the pound as a symbol

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

    decided that under the terms of the Treaty the two freedoms had direct effect. These rulings were the Reyners8 judgment on the freedom of establishment, and the Van Binsbergen9 judgment respecting freedom to provide services. Indeed, with regard to establishment, the Court held that "(as)

  2. Managing Work Team Conflict: Assessment and Preventative Strategies

    Townsley, 1997), politics, administrative procedures, resource allocation, scheduling, leadership, ambiguous roles/structure, costs, reward structure, technical opinions, and unresolved prior conflicts. This study showed the importance of how certain conflict sources compared to other conflict sources. Furthermore, other researchers suggest that competitive goals can promote conflict avoidance or even increase conflict

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

    factors as a framework for information. These include Social, Legal, Economical, Political and Technological information on each of the 8 countries. We will then begin the initial selection method, which will be the Selection Criteria Method. In this method we will choose 4 criteria and marks will be given to each country on each criteria.

  2. 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.

  1. Collection Management

    year).11 Libraries need to decide what services they are trying to provide, for which section of society. It is not just a question of widening facilities, but what should be charged for. As one user puts it " The unfortunate explosion of media means that libraries find themselves stocking CD's and videos ...

  2. MM02 - How the European market affects the way a firm is willing to ...

    However it also had a major effect on the way a business operates within Europe. Even before the Second World War, many felt that there was a need for a unified Europe. After the war many people around the world felt major affects, as many lost loved ones, their homes and their jobs.

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