Schultz Environment Blog

Environment in a broad sense,transports and energy issues. From my local point of view with a global touch!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Imagine economical laws were environmental effects were internalized.....
Try to imagine a world were the economical laws were in harmony with the ecological laws. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but if we want transparency in the economy it will become really complicated. Take for instance prices for transports. If you by an exotic fruit from the other side of the globe it should be much more expensive than your ordinary fruit from your own country, just because of the cost for transport. But most often the price doesn’t reflect the transport cost. The World Trade Organisation negotiations, taxes and other price mechanism don’t permit us to see the connections between the real cost and the paid price. Ryanair is another example. How come it can cost so little to fly with them? They earn the money in another way, of course. There is somebody else paying main parts of our journey. Perhaps they want to do that, or perhaps they don’t know they do.

In several environment laws there is a principle called the Polluter Pay Principle, PPP. It means that the person or company that’s polluting also should pay for the damages and what it takes to re-establish the environment. Often, that is as complicated as in real life. Who is paying for what? Mostly it will be the state or the municipality that will take the bill, eg. you and me. That’s why we all win on keeping our common environment as unpolluted as possible. The problem is that individuals tend not to care of things belonging to all. If I behave, somebody else will destroy, so “why bother” seems to be a common view. More transparency in the economics, with the environment effects internalized, could perhaps be of help for us in determining what’s good or bad behaviour?


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