chapter  11.1
5 Pages

Legislative Environmental Controls

WithJanis Birkeland

Most pollution control systems are either regulatory or economic instruments which make it cost more to damage the environment, so that firms will reduce pollution and waste to save money. The money saved from reduced costs can be 'recycled' into more long-term systems changes, such as land use controls or incentives programs. The conventional aim has been to internalise the costs of pollution, so that the price of products includes the social and environmental costs of production. Market-based approaches involve the use of economic or legal instruments that make it cheaper to conserve energy and resources or to avoid pollution and waste. Regulations often require manufacturers to do things which cost money, such as pay licence fees, install pollution control equipment, dispose of waste properly and so on. Indirect approaches rely on firms that are presently profiting from pollution to find solutions.