The advantage of economic instruments is that they force producers and consumers to take enviromnental concerns into account and to minimise their use – and waste – of energy and other resources as much as possible. Smart growth planning concentrates development in the center of a city, preventing urban sprawl. This strategy reduces the need for automobile use, reducing pollution and the other environmental consequences arising from building roads and such. The goal of environmental policy is to protect the environment for future generations while interfering as little as possible with the efficiency of commerce or the liberty of the people and to limit inequity in who is burdened with environmental costs.
Proponents who have developed and applied sustainability assessment frameworks like the TBL encountered many challenges, chief among them, how to make an index that is both comprehensive and meaningful and how to identify suitable data for the variables that compose the index. In fact, while the economies of the world are becoming more integrated, political trends are pointing towards a stronger focus on the nation state and even on regional independence. A key role for a green innovation policy is to support the development of generic technologies that entrepreneurial firms can build upon . Public R&D support and co-funding of pilot and demonstration plants help create variation and permit new inventions to be verified, optimized and up-scaled. As noted above, there is empirical support for public R&D funding of green technology development, as underinvestment due to knowledge spillovers might be particularly high for these technologies.
The transition to a green economy, including technological change, affects the whole of society. It is therefore necessary to not only optimize the performance of the new technologies and identify efficient policies; the most significant distributional impacts of technological change must also be understood and addressed. All societal changes involve winners judah cohen blog and losers, and unless this is recognized and dealt with, the sought-after green transition may lack in legitimacy across various key groups in society. Bek et al. provide an example of a green economy initiative in South Africa – the so-called Working for Water program – that has failed to fully recognize the social aspects of the program goals.
In an article in the Winter 1993 issue of Business Strategy and the Environment, Vincent di Norcia, Barry Cotton, and John Dodge showed how environmental demands have changed dramatically the competitive position of the Canadian paper industry. The former advantage of hinterland mill location has turned into a disadvantage because of lack of urban wastepaper supply. Users of paper, such as newspaper companies, are eager to use recycled newsprint, but Canadian producers have not kept pace with that development, viewing it as a threat instead of an opportunity. The paper industry faces a daunting range of environmental issues, including chlorine bleaching elimination, atmospheric pollution, and sustainable forest management.
Mission-oriented agencies are repeatedly deflected by the “crisis-of-the-month” syndrome, which siphons resources away from long-term programs. Basic funding agencies, such as NSF, while paying lip service to the value of long-term monitoring, usually find imaginative, new, “pioneering” projects more exciting to support than long-term monitoring programs. The scientific panels that evaluate proposals are strongly attracted to innovative proposals. The serious underfunding of biodiversity research is due, in part, to a lack of public appreciation of the importance of knowledge about biodiversity.