Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Global Concern for the Environment – Rhetoric or Real

Aziz, Ghazala (2011): Global Concern for the Environment – Rhetoric or Real.

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Considerable amount of concern has been expressed for environment in the recent time. Various summits, negotiations and conferences have been held at various levels with the widest possible participation. The question that arises is despite the sincere concern and the recognition of the causative factors for environmental degradation and consequently the climatic changes, why viable international framework / treaty is still elusive? Since environment involves extensive externalities an international binding agreement is essential. Still each country wants to do little while expects others to do a lot. The basic problem lies in the fact that environment is not the private good and therefore market can not offer solution. The issue demands a public policy intervention as well as cost. Fulfilling the obligations of any international agreement would require public policy interventions that would upset the current status-quo. Besides, capitalist countries are probably still to accept the reality of the limitations of the market mechanism in this regard. The paper seeks to trace the causes for the disagreements. The position that they take in the negotiations are traced to their domestic political and economic compulsions. Recent global crises that resulted from the lack or the absence of the regulations in the market economies may be treated a reminder to make them realize that the neo-classical wisdom may not be panacea for every evil.

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