Environmental Justice and Market Mechanisms: Key Challenges for Environmental Laws and Policy

Overview

This book examines the obstacles to achieving environmental justice in the context of neo-liberal economic systems founded upon deregulation, privatization and the use of market mechanisms as a policy tool. The book explores definitions and policy dimensions of environmental justice and market mechanisms. For some, environmental justice, social justice and ecological sustainability represent the new yardstick against which all concepts of environmental law and policy are to be measured. For others, the market ...

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Overview

This book examines the obstacles to achieving environmental justice in the context of neo-liberal economic systems founded upon deregulation, privatization and the use of market mechanisms as a policy tool. The book explores definitions and policy dimensions of environmental justice and market mechanisms. For some, environmental justice, social justice and ecological sustainability represent the new yardstick against which all concepts of environmental law and policy are to be measured. For others, the market economy, whether free or regulated, marks the starting-point for any strategy of environmental protection. This book is the first to investigate the link between these two approaches, measuring market-based tools of environmental law such as tradable permits and ecotaxes against the requirements of environmental justice.

Based on papers delivered at a major international conference held in March 1998, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, the book outlines the global context of the tensions between environmental justice and market-based instruments, focusing on the issue of international trade liberalization. It reports on experiences in a range of countries and regions: the United States, the European Union, Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Despite the variety of approaches and experiences, all the countries have been trying to adjust their environmental policies to the challenges of deregulation on the one hand and environmental justice on the other. The book concludes with a call to transcend the dichotomy between regulation and the market, and suggests it might be more realistic to perceive environmental policy as a 'new deal', a combined effort of the state and the market in which environmental justice provides the overall normative framework.

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