Threats to effective environmental policy

Recent decades have seen the accelerated use of market based instruments for environmental management in Australia. Not all instruments, however, have been well directed, appropriately designed or effectively implemented. Drew Collins recently addressed the Productivity Commission roundtable on Promoting Better Environmental Outcomes, canvassing examples of where instruments have been poorly applied.

Drew also discussed the emergence of a ‘sustainable consumption’ ideology gaining prominence in policy circles to the detriment of effective reforms. Drew argues that narrowly-based incentives, particularly those directed at influencing specific consumption choices rather than underlying resource-management problems, will rarely be the best policy intervention. Drew’s paper can be downloaded here.

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