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Chapter 19. Environmental Policy and Decision Making. Environmental Policy and Decision Making. Outline. New Challenges for a New Century The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S. Environmental Policy and Regulation The Greening of Geopolitics Terrorism and the Environment

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chapter 19

Chapter 19

Environmental Policy and Decision Making

  • New Challenges for a New Century
  • The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S.
  • Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • The Greening of Geopolitics
  • Terrorism and the Environment
  • International Environmental Policy
  • It All Comes Back to You
new challenges for a new century
New Challenges for a New Century
  • This is an era of rapid change in the forces and conditions that shape human life.
  • Globalization: Internationally, trade, investment, information, and people flow across borders. Relationships between governments are changing.
  • Communication Revolution:Technology has enhanced people’s ability to receive information and influence events that affect them. Civil society is demanding a greater role in governmental decisions and seeks solutions outside of government’s power.
new challenges for a new century1
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Knowledge Economy: Knowledge has become the economy’s most important and dynamic resource.
    • The shift to a knowledge-driven economy has emphasized the positive connections among efficiency, profits, and environmental protection and helped launch a trend in profitable pollution prevention.
    • Many now understand pollution equates to inefficiency and increased costs.
new challenges for a new century2
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Population Growth: Tomorrow’s world will be shaped by a larger global population.
  • The population has doubled in the last 50 years.
    • Growing populations need more food, goods, services, and space.
    • Larger populations aggravate scarcity.
    • Rising demand for land and natural resources exacerbates conflict.
    • Growing populations overfish, overharvest, and overgraze.
new challenges for a new century3
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Kinds of Policy Responses: It is important to recognize that economic, environmental, and social goals are integrally linked and to develop policies that reflect that interrelationship.
    • Governments must use their power to convene and facilitate, shifting from prescribing behavior to supporting responsibility.
    • Businesses need to build the practice and skills of dialogue with communities and citizens.
new challenges for a new century5
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Government is the set of institutions normally associated with political authority.
  • Laws establish legal mandates of government agencies with responsibility for environmental protection and resource management.
  • Environmental governance goes beyond official actions of governments.
  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have become strong advocates.
new challenges for a new century6
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Governance is about decisions and how we make them.
    • Environmental governance is inevitably associated with organizations where official authority often resides.
    • Also encompasses oversight or advisory groups, corporate councils, and even advocacy groups.
new challenges for a new century7
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Governance includes individual choices and actions when these influence large public policies or affect corporate behavior.
    • Consumer choices can sometimes be as powerful as government regulations in tempering business decisions that affect the environment.
new challenges for a new century8
New Challenges for a New Century
  • For the past quarter century, the basic pattern of environmental protection in developed nations has been to react to specific crises.
  • EPA has traditionally focused almost exclusively on past and present problems, and ignored anticipated problems yet to arise.
new challenges for a new century9
New Challenges for a New Century
  • The accelerating rate of change is shrinking the distance between present and future.
  • Environmental effects of changes in global economic activity are being felt more rapidly by both nations and individuals.
  • By taking steps now, the present generation can minimize environmental and financial debts of later generations.
new challenges for a new century10
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Most important remaining sources of pollution are diffuse and widespread.
  • We are recognizing that controlling pollutants alone, no matter how successful, will not achieve an environmentally sustainable economy.
new challenges for a new century11
New Challenges for a New Century
  • We are progressing from an environmental paradigm based on cleanup and control to one including assessment, anticipation, and avoidance.
  • In the long run, environmental quality is largely a function of behavior of individuals.
  • The extent of environmental awareness and the strength of environmental institutions will be critical factors driving future environmental quality.
new challenges for a new century12
New Challenges for a New Century
  • The next 50 years will see a world in which people are more crowded, more connected, and more consuming than ever before.
  • The natural environment in which people live will be stressed as never before.
  • However, rates of increase in the growth of human population suggest a transition toward a stable human population.
new challenges for a new century13
New Challenges for a New Century
  • Environmental Revolution
  • U.S. population is expected to double in the next 50 years.
    • There will be twice as many people in 2050.
    • Twice as many cars, trucks, planes, airports, parking lots, houses, landfills, waste treatment plants, chemicals, in short, everything.
    • Cities and farmland will double.
    • What will happen to wilderness and wildlife?
    • The future holds opportunity and excitement as we farm, build, and transport in new ways.
the development of environmental policy in the u s
The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S.
  • Public policy is the general principle by which government branches are guided in their management of public affairs.
  • Government Branches
    • Legislative (Congress): Declares and shapes national policy by passing legislation.
    • Executive (President): Directed to enforce the law.
    • Judiciary (court system): Interprets law.
the development of environmental policy in the u s1
The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S.

Major agencies of the executive branch

the development of environmental policy in the u s2
The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S.
  • When Congress considers certain conduct to be against public policy and the public good, it passes legislation.
    • Congress specifically regulates, controls, or prohibits activity in conflict with public policy and attempts to encourage desirable behavior.
the development of environmental policy in the u s4
The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S.
  • 1970s
    • The first Earth Day was held April 22, 1970 and put the modern environmental movement into high gear.
    • Much environmental legislation passed in the 1970s.
      • Immediate, obvious problems were relatively easy to address.
    • Environmental concerns faded when the energy crisis threatened the economy.
the development of environmental policy in the u s5
The Development of Environmental Policy in the U.S.
  • The ongoing challenge for U.S. environmental policy is to build, maintain, and constantly renew public support for effective environmental governance, at home and worldwide.
  • The U.S. needs a broadly shared vision of the common environmental good, such as on Earth Day in 1970.
  • Today’s environmental movement rallies the public to arms against corporate polluters and government despoilers, rather than articulating a positive vision.
environmental policy and regulation
Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • The Significance of Administrative Law:
  • U.S. environmental law is governed by administrative law.
  • This area of law defines how government organizations develop and implement regulatory programs they are legislatively authorized to create.
    • It also applies to groups affected by agency actions— i.e., state programs.
environmental policy and regulation1
Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • In 1969, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted.
  • It is designed to institutionalize a concern for the quality of the environment within the federal government.
    • NEPA has two purposes:
      • Advise the president on the state of the nation’s environment.
      • Create an advisory council called the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The CEQ outlines NEPA compliance guidelines.
environmental policy and regulation2
Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • Until 1970, most federal agencies acted within their delegated authority without considering the environmental impacts of their actions.
  • In 1970, the EPA was established by Congress to implement statutes.
  • Administrative functions empower EPA, the states, and private citizens to take responsibility for enforcing the various authorized programs.
environmental policy and regulation3
Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • To date, much environmental law has reflected the perception that environmental problems are localized in time, space, and media (air, water, and soil).
  • Environmental regulation has focused on specific phenomena, and “command and control” solutions.
    • In this approach, highly specific legislation and regulation implemented by centralized authorities and are used to achieve narrowly defined ends.
environmental policy and regulation4
Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • Large scale and complicated ecological policy problems such as reversing the decline of salmon, or the role of wild fire on public lands share several qualities:
    • Complexity – innumerable options and trade-offs
    • Polarization– clashes between competing values
    • Winners and losers– for each policy choice, some will clearly benefit, some will be harmed, and the consequences for the others is uncertain.
    • Delayed consequences– no immediate “fix” and the benefits, if any, will often not be evident for decades.
environmental policy and regulation5
Environmental Policy and Regulation
  • National vs. regional conflict– national (or international) priorities often differ substantially from those at the local or regional level.
  • Ambiguous role for science– science is often not pivotal in evaluating policy options, but science often ends up serving inappropriately as a surrogate for debates over values and preferences.
the greening of geopolitics
The Greening of Geopolitics
  • Environmental or “green” politics have moved into mainstream political arenas.
  • A sense of urgency and common cause about the environment is leading to cooperation in some areas.
  • Ecological degradation in any nation is now understood almost inevitably to impinge on quality of life in others.
the greening of geopolitics1
The Greening of Geopolitics
  • China consumes about 15.6% of the world’s energy and is having a major impact on world energy prices and efforts to control atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    • China’s energy use grows at over 8% per year.
  • The U.S. consumes about 25% of the world’s energy.
    • Growth in energy use is less than 1% a year in industrialized countries.
the greening of geopolitics2
The Greening of Geopolitics
  • In 2006 over 70% of China’s energy production was from coal.
    • China has extensive domestic coal resources, wants to minimize dependence on foreign energy sources, and is expected to use coal for the foreseeable future.
    • Carbon emissions and global warming are a concern of China’s coal use.
    • China imports over half of it’s oil from the Middle East.
    • China’s economic stability depends on access to oil from the world’s most volatile region, and has contributed to rising oil prices.
the greening of geopolitics3
The Greening of Geopolitics

The growth of energy consumption in China

the greening of geopolitics4
The Greening of Geopolitics
  • Some developing countries may resist environmental action because they see a chance to improve their bargaining leverage with foreign aid donors and international bankers.
  • Where before poor nations never had a strategic advantage, they now may have an ecological edge.
  • Ecologically, there could be more parity than there ever was economically or militarily.
the greening of geopolitics5
The Greening of Geopolitics
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has developed an Office of Scientific and Environmental Affairs.
  • U.S. Department of Defense has created an Office of Environmental Security.
  • The most formidable obstacles may be entrenched economic and political interests of the world’s most advanced nations.
terrorism and the environment
Terrorism and the Environment
  • Environmental terrorism is the unlawful use of force against environmental resources to deprive populations of their benefits or destroy other property.
    • Releasing oil in Persian Gulf
    • Burning oil wells in Kuwait
    • Biological or chemical weapons
    • Nuclear weapons
terrorism and the environment1
Terrorism and the Environment
  • Biological weapons are naturally occurring organisms that cause disease.
    • Anthrax bacteria produce spores that allow them to live in a dormant state in soil.
    • When used as a weapon, inhaled spores enter the lungs, where they are carried into the blood and the immune system. The spores become active and release a toxin that is lethal to cells.
terrorism and the environment2
Terrorism and the Environment
  • Biological weapons have a long history.
    • Roman Empire used animal carcasses to contaminate water wells.
    • This practice was used into the 20th century.
    • Francisco Pizarro gave smallpox-contaminated clothing to South American natives.
terrorism and the environment3
Terrorism and the Environment
  • Chemical weapons are poisons such as mustard gas and nerve gases such as sarin.
  • Modern chemical weapons tend to be made with agents having much great power.
    • This means it takes a lot less of the chemical to kill the same number of people.
  • Many of them use the chemicals found in insecticides.
terrorism and the environment4
Terrorism and the Environment
  • In 1972, 103 countries signed the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which prohibited development and use of biological and chemical weapons.
  • Allows research for defense, such as vaccines, against biological weapons.
international environmental policy
International Environmental Policy
  • Most global organizations have not been able to achieve significant progress in reversing global environmental degradation.
    • Some fail because they are controlled by a disparate membership with competing interests who are unable to come to consensus on complex issues.
    • Others cannot address whole issues on their own.
international environmental policy1
International Environmental Policy
  • Over 150 global environmental treaties negotiated since start of 20th century.
  • At least 500 bilateral agreements in effect dealing with cross-border environmental issues.
  • Successful efforts
    • 1961: Antarctic Treaty
    • 1979: Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution
    • 1987: Montreal Protocol
international environmental policy2
International Environmental Policy
  • The objective of the Montreal Protocol was to phase out the manufacture and use of chemicals depleting the Earth’s protective ozone layer.
  • 160 countries are now parties, representing 95% of the Earth’s population.
  • Developing countries ended production of CFCs in 1999, and phase-out is scheduled for 2010.
  • By the late 1990s, the concentration of some CFCs in the atmosphere had started to decline, and predictions are that the ozone layer could recover by the middle of this century.
international environmental policy3
International Environmental Policy
  • Among the many reasons for these achievements, three merit attention:
    • Global agreement on the nature and seriousness of the threat.
    • A cooperative approach, especially between developed and developing countries.
    • Policy based on expert and impartial advice.
international environmental policy4
International Environmental Policy
  • There is no international legislature with authority to pass laws, nor are there international agencies with power to regulate resources on a global scale.
  • An international court at the Hague in the Netherlands has no power to enforce decisions.
  • However, a network is growing of multilateral environmental organizations that have developed a greater sense of their roles and a greater incentive to work together.
international environmental policy5
International Environmental Policy
  • In June 1992, representatives from 178 countries, including 115 heads of state, met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Earth Summit.
  • It was the largest gathering of world leaders ever held.
  • Major issues:
    • The developed countries of the North have grown accustomed to lifestyles that are consuming a disproportionate share of natural resources and generating the bulk of global pollution.
international environmental policy6
International Environmental Policy
    • Many of the developing countries of the South are consuming irreplaceable global resources to provide for their growing populations.
  • The Earth Summit was intended to promote better integration of nations’ environmental goals with their economic aspirations.
international environmental policy7
International Environmental Policy
  • “The environment knows no frontiers” was a slogan during the 1970s, when the EU began drafting its first environmental legislation.
  • Early laws focused on testing and labeling dangerous chemicals, testing drinking water, and controlling air pollutants from power plants and automobiles.
  • Many of the directives were linked to Europe’s desire to improve living and working conditions for citizens.
international environmental policy8
International Environmental Policy
  • The 1992 Maastricht Treaty formally established the concept of sustainable development in European Union law.
  • In 1997, the Amsterdam Treaty made sustainable development one of the overriding objectives of the EU.
international environmental policy9
International Environmental Policy
  • Important lessons have been learned through the crafting of international environmental agreements:
    • Scientific community plays a crucial role:
      • Confirming links between human activities and global environmental problems.
      • Showing what could happen to human health and the global environment in the absence of action.
international environmental policy10
International Environmental Policy
  • Additional lessons:
    • Use incentives, not punitive actions.
    • Every interested party must have an opportunity to participate as full partners.
    • Government action needs to be consistent and predictable; provide sufficient lead times; favor government-led incentives over direct industry subsidies; and use flexible, market-based solutions where appropriate.
    • Agreements mark the beginning of a process, not the end.
international environmental policy11
International Environmental Policy
  • Behind one example of new policy solutions is the concept of green consumerism, or the rational consumption of scarce resources for the benefit of the environment and future generations.
    • Ecolabels have been introduced in a number of countries to help consumers choose products with a proven environmental edge.
      • This is determined by the product’s choice of raw materials, production process, product life cycle, and associated disposal problems.
it all comes back to you
It All Comes Back to You
  • No policies, incentives, or amount of information can substitute for individual responsibility when it comes to ensuring for future generations a quality of life that comes from a quality environment.
  • Individuals must get involved in turning choices into action and be held accountable for their actions.
  • Politics and the environment cannot be separated.
  • In the U.S., each of the three branches of government impacts environmental policy.
  • The late 1980s and 1990s was a new international concern about the environment in both the developed and developing nations of the world.
  • Environmentalism is seen as a growing factor in international relations.
  • International treaties have been successful, but ultimately, it is up to the individual to act in an environmentally responsible manner.