POLSCI 1G06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Polluter Pays Principle, Joint Implementation, Market Failure

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Political Science 1G06 2014 Lecture 7a The Politics of the Environment
- According to many commentators, the earth is currently experiencing
multiple environmental crises:
- Greenhouse Effect:
- Ozone Depletion
- Species Depletion
-Human activity has been identified as a primary cause of these
environmental crises
-At the most basic level, consider Population growth:
- Linear versus geometric (exponential) growth
- Increasing 1.2%/year
- By 2050 between 8 and 11B people in the world
- This raises several questions with respect to the environment:
- 1. How will all these new people be fed without overrunning the
natural environment?
- 2. What impact will 11 Billion consumers have on the environment?
-Environmental issues are political issues, not merely scientific
- Because human impact is the cause of the environmental problem, any
solution is definitively a political issue
-1. Why is Population growth a political issue?
- Population growth is not even throughout the world
- 86% of global population growth is concentrated in the
underdeveloped world
- Northern tendency to blame the South for over-procreating
- By contrast, many developing country governments have noted a
correlation between high birth rates and poverty
- Lower poverty and you will lower birth rates
-2. Environmental agreements are also political issues:
- Who should pay the costs associated with environmental clean-up?
- Some principles being advocated from the less-developed world:
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