Rethinking Voluntary Approaches in Environmental Policy

Rethinking Voluntary Approaches in Environmental Policy

Rory Sullivan

The book systematically analyses three initiatives (environmental management systems, the Australian Greenhouse Challenge and the Australian mining industry’s Code for Environmental Management) and their contribution to public environmental policy. By moving the debate away from narrow considerations of economic efficiency towards a broader framework that accounts for the multiple goals to which environmental policy needs to be directed, this book significantly enhances our understanding of the role that voluntary approaches can play in achieving environmental policy goals.

Chapter 4: The Australian Environmental Policy Context

Rory Sullivan

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, environment, environmental management


THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY Australia is the fourteenth largest industrial economy in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000/2001 of some A$670 billion (Commonwealth of Australia, 2002: 2, 18). The Australian population of just over 19 million people is expected to grow by 32 per cent between 1990 and 2020 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2002: 14). The economy is highly dependent on fossil fuels as low-cost fossil fuels are abundant, hydroelectric resources are limited and nuclear power is not utilized (Commonwealth of Australia, 2002: 2). Mining is one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy, representing approximately 9 per cent of GDP and providing about 5 per cent of employment (MMSD Australia, 2002: 41; Hancock and Roarty, 2002: 5; Commonwealth of Australia, 2002). Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal, bauxite, alumina, lead, titanium and zircon and one of the world’s leading exporters of gold, iron ore, aluminium, nickel, zinc and uranium (Centre for International Economics, 1999b). The mining industry accounts for between 15 and 20 per cent of the market share value of the top 300 listed companies on the Australian stock exchange. Given that its economy and export capacity have been built on large non-renewable resource availability, Australian attitudes to global resource conservation have been highly influenced by issues of natural comparative advantage as well as international competitiveness (Vourc’h and Price, 2001: 5). THE AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL STRUCTURE Australia is a federation of six states and two territories. Under the Australian Constitution, the Commonwealth...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information