Environmental policies are regulations set down to guide public actions towards the environment. In this article we will lay out the principles of environmental policy .
The Six Principles of Environmental Policy
The Precautionary Principle
This principle sets out that lack of scientific certainty will not be used to prevent the use of cost effective solutions in events with potential for serious or permanent damage.
By having this as a guiding principle, groups who are opposed to implementing safety measures cannot use smoke screens to halt action.
Best Available Techniques
If you are a polluter/producer there are benchmarks set by the European Commission that determine what technology you need to use to combat emissions and protect the environment.
If you have an alternative technology which you believe to be better, a cost-benefit analysis is conducted and sent in to be verified.
Polluter Pays Principle
This one is fairly self explanatory. Following this principle means that the entity responsible for the emissions are also responsible for bearing the cost of the damage. This could be in the form of taxed but more commonly the producer is responsible for safe disposal.
Similar to the above principle, Producer Responsibility puts the disposal of a product in the hands of the company that manufactured it.
This means there is a cost incentive for producers to make products out of reclaimable materials, keeping valuable resources in the cycle for longer.
The materials in that sandwich you are munching have had a long journey to get into your hands. By taking a life-cycle approach to the manufacture of goods we can reduce harm at each stage of the process.
This could be reducing the transportation distance by moving the different manufacturing plants closer together or by making the packaging out of materials that can be reused for another sandwich.
Avoidance vs Mitigation
Being proactive is a much better strategy than being reactive and trying to clean up a mess.
This principle is similar to the Precautionary Principle in that it works to put protection in place before damage can be done.
I hope you enjoyed this article on the principles of environmental policy.
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