Edited by Henk Folmer, H. Landis Gabel, Shelby Gerking and Adam Rose
Chapter 4: Empowering the community: information strategies for pollution control
4. Empowering the community: information strategies for pollution control Tom Tietenberg and David Wheeler INTRODUCTION The Demand for Disclosure Strategies The ﬁrst phase of pollution control involved applying traditional legal remedies such as emissions standards. Over time, however, it became clear that these traditional regulatory approaches to pollution control were excessively costly in some circumstances (Tietenberg, 1985) and incapable of achieving the stipulated goals in others (Tietenberg, 1995). Failures have been especially common in developing countries, where legal and regulatory institutions are often weak (Afsah and Laplante, 1996a). In response to these deﬁciencies the second phase of pollution control focused on market-based approaches such as tradable permits, emission charges, deposit-refunds and performance bonds (Hahn, 1989; OECD, 1989; Tietenberg, 1990; OECD, 1994, 1995). In some instances they have substituted for traditional remedies, but in most cases they have complemented them. In the OECD and Eastern Europe, these approaches have added both ﬂexibility and improved cost-effectiveness to pollution control policy. Pollution charges have also contributed to improved environmental performance in developing Asia and Latin America, with particularly noteworthy examples in China (Wang and Wheeler, 1996), Malaysia (Vincent, 1993) and Colombia (Arbeláez, 1998). Even the addition of market-based approaches, however, has not fully solved the problem of pollution regulation. In the industrialized countries the system remains overburdened by the sheer number of substances to be controlled. Neither staffs nor budgets are adequate for the task of regulating all of the potentially harmful substances that are emitted by ﬁrms and households. In...
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