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Do we trust the data?: on the validity and reliability of cross-national environmental surveys

Neumayer, Eric
Fonte: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Southwestern Social Science Association Publicador: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Southwestern Social Science Association
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /03/2002 Português
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This article provides evidence on the validity and reliability of cross-national environmental surveys, an aspect that has not found much attention so far. Methods. Validity can be checked in examining whether cross-national differences in environmental attitudes are in accordance with theoretical hypotheses. For example, a study can claim some validity if concern about inadequate sanitation is strongly negatively correlated with the actual extent of access to sanitation in a country. Results. Several validity checks were undertaken for the Gallup, Gallup, and Dunlap (1993) survey, all of which tend to support its validity. Next, the reliability of cross-national environmental surveys was checked. Both Pearson and Spearman rank correlations were run for similar questions from differing studies. Most correlations were low and statistically insignificant, however, thus putting some doubt on the reliability of cross-national environmental surveys, at least with respect to the questions examined. Conclusions. The findings support the validity of cross-national environmental surveys, but not their reliability. Future surveys should be designed such that validity and reliability checks become easier to undertake.

Book review: Cities: an environmental history

Johnston, Ron
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 21/08/2013 Português
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"Cities: An Environmental History." Ian Douglas. I.B.Tauris. May 2013. --- There is increasing concern over the unchecked expansion of cities today and the detrimental effect this is having on the planet, as induced climate change and ever increasing demands upon the world’s resources take effect. In this book Ian Douglas aims to tell the story of cities – why they exist, how they have evolved, the problems they have encountered and those they will face as our century progresses. Reviewed by Ron Johnston.

A blueprint for making the prospective Mediterranean free trade zone an environmental role model

Neumayer, Eric
Fonte: John Wiley & Sons in association with European Research Press ( ERP Environment ) Publicador: John Wiley & Sons in association with European Research Press ( ERP Environment )
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2001 Português
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If not accompanied by strong environmental provisions, the prospective Mediterranean Free Trade Zone (MFTZ) is bound to increase existing pressures on scarce natural resources in the region. This article argues that the existing bilateral association agreements between the European Union and Southern Mediterranean countries are clearly insufficient from an environmental perspective. If the MFTZ were to be based upon those agreements, then it would represent a free trade agreement environmentally inferior to the North American Free Trade Agreement and even the World Trade Organization. To turn the MFTZ into an environmental role model instead, a number of provisions are indispensable: environmentally friendly preambular language, upward harmonization of environmental standards, a comprehensive general exceptions clause, a prominent role given to the precautionary principle and the allocation of the burden of proof on the party challenging an environmental measure. Equally importantly, the European Union needs to step up financial, technical and other assistance as part of a wider regional environmental strategy and partnership. Doing so would ensure that the prospective MFTZ becomes a promoter not only of trade and economic growth, but also environmental protection in the Southern Mediterranean region.

Transnational compensation for oil pollution damage: examining changing spatialities of environmental liability

Mason, Michael
Fonte: Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /05/2002 Português
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The civil liability regime for ship-source oil pollution stands at the forefront of rule development for transnational environmental compensation, advancing private law remedies to enable national victims of oil spill damage to make financial claims against domestic and non-domestic tanker owners and, in certain circumstances, the global oil cargo industry. This rule formulation and implementation attests to the significance of legal norms in constituting new spaces of financial accountability for transboundary environmental harm. I examine the evolving – and contested – parameters of environmental liability set by the international oil pollution liability conventions, focusing on the admissibility of reinstatement costs and the geographical scope of compensation norms. A preliminary assessment of the extent to which the liability regime meets the interests of affected (third) parties applauds its equitable consideration of environmental claims, although this is restricted by a narrow definition of damage and national boundaries of entitlement. Oil pollution harm to collective ecological interests represents a key challenge to the liability framework.

Environmental pressure group strength and air pollution : an empirical analysis

Binder, Seth; Neumayer, Eric
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Research Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Research
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 01/12/2005 Português
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There is an established theoretical and empirical case-study literature arguing that environmental pressure groups have a real impact on pollution levels. Our original contribution to this literature is to provide the first systematic quantitative test of the strength of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) on air pollution levels. We find that ENGO strength exerts a statistically significant impact on sulfur dioxide, smoke and heavy particulates concentration levels in a cross-country time-series regression analysis. This result holds true both for ordinary least squares and random-effects estimation. It is robust to controlling for the potential endogeneity of ENGO strength with the help of instrumental variables. The effect is also substantively important. Strengthening ENGOs represents an important strategy by which aid donors, foundations, international organizations and other stakeholders can try to achieve lower pollution levels around the world.

Environmental services and poverty alleviation: either, or, or both?

Groom, Ben; Palmer, Charles
Fonte: Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge Publicador: Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2009 Português
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Payments for environmental services (PES) schemes in developing countries face trade-offs between environmental and development objectives. This tension is inherent in cost effective direct PES since, by their very nature, they limit transfers to recipients. However, where recipients of PES are subject to market constraints (e.g. credit rationing, input constraints etc.), we show that indirect payments which relax constraints can be cost effective and achieve both environmental and poverty alleviation objectives. Contrary to where markets are perfect, cost effectiveness is dependent on the nature of the recipient’s production and the severity of constraints. An empirical example from Madagascar illustrates that it is unlikely these dual objectives will be achieved in the case of forest honey production, despite a severe technology constraint. Yet indirect PES schemes are shown to be cost effective where production is more closely linked to land use, such as in agriculture and forestry. This accords with recent work on agri-environmental schemes, which achieved poverty alleviation and environmental objectives by relaxing household constraints. This highlights the need to understand the market conditions, institutional context and production processes of PES recipients.

Information disclosure and environmental rights: the Aarhus Convention

Mason, Michael
Fonte: MIT Press Publicador: MIT Press
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /08/2010 Português
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Access to information is the first "pillar" of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (1998). This article examines how the information disclosure obligations on states within the Aarhus Convention express a particular blend of human environmental rights, conjoining procedural entitlements (and duties) with a substantive right to an environment adequate to human health and well-being: "Aarhus environmental rights" have been lauded for increasing citizen access to environmental information, helping to secure more transparent and accountable regulatory processes. However, the information rights are rendered inconsistent in practice by three properties: 1) the discretion accorded to Convention Parties in interpreting Aarhus rights; 2) the exclusion of private entities from mandatory information disclosure duties; and 3) the indeterminate coupling of procedural and substantive rights. These tensions reflect a structural imbalance in the articulation of Aarhus rights between social welfare and market liberal perspectives.

A small charge for a big result: The case of M&S shows that choice can encourage positive environmental behaviour

Le Grand, Julian; Disney, Kate
Fonte: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science Publicador: Blog post from London School of Economics & Political Science
Tipo: Website; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 03/02/2011 Português
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Encouraging individuals to change their behaviour towards the environment is an increasingly important area of policy-making. Julian Le Grand and Kate Disney find that the introduction of a charge for plastic bags in Marks and Spencer shops successfully encouraged pro-environmental behaviour and explore the implications for environmental policy.

Theorising international environmental law

Humphreys, Stephen; Otomo, Yoriko
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /02/2014 Português
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From The Oxford Handbook of International Legal Theory (Florian Hoffmann and Anne Orford, eds, Oxford UP, forthcoming 2014). --- This paper, part of a larger work on international law theory, sketches some early lines of inquiry towards a theoretical understanding of international environmental law. As the body of international law regulating human interaction with the natural world, one might expect this branch of law to be a cornerstone of the international system. Yet in practice, international environmental law's reach is strikingly circumscribed. Little of the governance of natural resources, for example, is 'environmental'. Subsisting at the periphery, environmental law focuses on conserving particular (rare, exotic) species and 'ecosystems', and curbing certain kinds of pollution. Its principles are vague, peppering the margins of rulings within other judicial fora: it is quintessential soft law. In this paper, we suggest that international environmental law's dilemmas are due to two competing heritages. On one hand, this law enshrines the peculiar pantheism of the European romantic period, positing the 'natural world' as sacred, inviolable, redemptive. On the other, its main antecedents are found in colonial era practices...

Trading away damage: quantifying environmental leakage through consumption-based, life-cycle analysis

Ghertner, D. Asher; Fripp, Matthias
Fonte: Elsevier Publicador: Elsevier
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 01/08/2007 Português
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This research quantifies the extent to which the US has shifted the environmental impact associated with the goods it consumes to other countries through trade. To achieve this, we use a life-cycle, consumption-based approach to measure the environmental impacts embodied in US trade activities for global warming potential (GWP), energy, toxics, and the criteria air pollutants. We use these values to determine the amount of environmental impact “leaked” from current, production-based approaches to analyzing national environmental trends for the years 1998–2004. We find that in 2004, with reasonable assumptions about the environmental intensity of imports and exports, this leakage exceeds 10% for all studied impacts, exceeds 20% for GWP, energy, and most criteria air pollutants, and exceeds 80% for lead emissions and toxics. By including the environmental impacts embodied in trade activities into national environmental accounts, we provide consumption-based, US per capita, environmental impacts, which we use to evaluate the relationship between income and environmental impact. We find evidence for rising per capita environmental impacts over time in the US, contra the Environmental Kuznets Curve. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for international environmental policy of increasing embodied emissions in trade.

Environmental commitment, democracy and inequality: a background paper to the World Development Report 2003

Neumayer, Eric; Gates, Scott; Gleditsch, Nils Petter
Fonte: The World Bank Publicador: The World Bank
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 05/03/2002 Português
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This paper tests the hypothesis that democracies exhibit stronger environmental commitment than non-democracies using a variety of econometric techniques (single equation and three-stage least squares estimations). A number of proxy variables are used in lieu of environmental commitment, a non-observable variable. Strong evidence is found that democracies sign and ratify more multilateral environmental agreements, participate in more environmental intergovernmental organizations, comply better with reporting requirements under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora, put a greater percentage of their land area under protections status, are more likely to have a National Council on Sustainable Development in their country and have more environmentally relevant information available than non-democracies. The results are robust with respect to employing a simultaneous equation model in which instrumental variables are used for democracy and income to check for potential omitted variable bias. With a smaller and somewhat biased sample, due to lack of income inequality data for many nondemocratic countries, we found that democracy still has a positive effect on environmental commitment in some cases. Income inequality has a negative indirect effect on environmental commitment due to its detrimental effect on democracy. Sometimes income inequality is also estimated to have a direct effect...

Better RED than dead: paying the people for environmental services in Amazonia

Hall, Anthony
Fonte: The Royal Society Publicador: The Royal Society
Tipo: Article; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2008 Português
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The introduction of payments for environmental services (PES) offers an opportunity for traditional and indigenous populations to be compensated for contributing to carbon sequestration in meeting the challenge of ameliorating global warming. As one mechanism among several for promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, pro-poor PES initiatives could eventually be incorporated into an international post-Koyoto framework to encourage reduced emissions from deforestation. Brazil's Proambiente PES scheme for small farmers in Amazonia has enjoyed some limited success, but it has fallen short of expectations. Its performance has been undermined by the lack of a national legal framework, limited funding, reduced implementation capacity, poor cross-sector collaboration and incompatibility with existing regional development policies. These challenges are being addressed by the federal government in cooperation with civil society with a view to scaling up Proambiente into a national programme.

Environmental policy and the economic downturn

Bowen, Alex; Stern, Nicholas
Fonte: Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Publicador: Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 22/01/2010 Português
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This paper considers how environmental policies should respond to macroeconomic downturns. It first explores the implications of the global economic downturn of 2008-09 for environmental policies, focusing in particular on the example of action against climate change. The arguments for and against activist fiscal policies in general are then reviewed, and the case made that a demand-induced downturn provides a very good opportunity to undertake a necessary step change in the public spending component of environmental policies and to start working through a backlog of public investment to improve the environment. Fiscal policy should be used to improve the allocation of resources across time and space. Recent fiscal stimuli are considered in the light of this discussion. It is also argued that there is little cause to delay the introduction of price signals to internalise environmental externalities. But the levels at which such signals should be set requires careful analysis; changes over the business cycle may be warranted, depending on the nature of the environmental externality and the cause(s) of the business cycle in question.

Environmental prices, uncertainty and learning

Dietz, Simon; Fankhauser, Samuel
Fonte: Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Publicador: Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Tipo: Monograph; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /11/2009 Português
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There is an increasing demand for putting a shadow price on the environment to guide public policy and incentivise private behaviour. In practice, setting that price can be extremely difficult as uncertainties abound. There is often uncertainty not just about individual parameters but about the structure of the problem and how to model it. A further complication is the second-best nature of real environmental policy making. In this paper, we propose some practical steps for setting prices in the face of these difficulties, drawing on the example of climate change. We consider how to determine the overall target for environmental protection, how to set shadow prices to deliver that target, and how we can learn from the performance of policies to revise targets and prices. Perhaps most significantly, we suggest that estimates of the marginal cost of environmental protection, rather than the marginal benefit, will often provide the more consistent and robust prices for achieving targets.

Towards an ontological politics of comparative environmental analysis: the Green Economy and local diversity

Forsyth, Tim; Levidow, Les
Fonte: MIT Press Publicador: MIT Press
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2015 Português
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This paper contributes to comparative environmental politics by integrating comparative analysis with debates about ontological politics and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Comparative environmental analysis makes two tacit assumptions: that the subject of comparison (e.g. an environmental policy framework) is mobile and can be detached from its contexts; and that studying this subject in more than one location can identify its diffusion and implementation anywhere. These assumptions are sites of ontological politics by predetermining (or restricting) environmental outcomes. Environmental analysis needs to consider how far its own comparative acts might reify supposedly global frameworks rather than acknowledge how different localities appropriate and give meaning to them in diverse ways. The concept of civic epistemologies illustrates how domestic politics are organized around supposedly global concepts, rather than how global concepts diffuse around the world, as illustrated here by a comparative analysis of the United Nations’ Green Economy Initiative.

Assessing the relationship between human well-being and ecosystem services: a review of frameworks

Agarwala, Matthew; Atkinson, Giles; Fry, Benjamin Palmer; Homewood, Katherine; Mourato, Susana; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Wallace, Graham; Milner-Gulland, E. J.
Fonte: Medknow Publications Pvt. Ltd. Publicador: Medknow Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Tipo: Article; PeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /10/2014 Português
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Focusing on the most impoverished populations, we critically review and synthesise key themes from dominant frameworks for assessing the relationship between well-being and ecosystem services in developing countries. This requires a differentiated approach to conceptualising well-being that appropriately reflects the perspectives of the poorest-those most directly dependent on ecosystem services, and their vulnerability to external and policy-driven environmental change. The frameworks analysed draw upon environmental sciences, economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and were selected on the basis of their demonstrated or potential ability to illustrate the relationship between environmental change and human well-being, as well as their prevalence in real world applications. Thus, the synthesis offered here is informed by the various theoretical, methodological, and hermeneutical contributions from each field to the notion of well-being. The review highlights several key dimensions that should be considered by those interested in understanding and assessing the impact of environmental change on the well-being of the world's poorest people: the importance of interdisciplinary consideration of well-being, the need for frameworks that integrate subjective and objective aspects of well-being...

Environmental paradiplomacy: the engagement of the Brazilian state of São Paulo in international environmental relations

Setzer, Joana
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /06/2013 Português
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This study analyses the international environmental relations undertaken by subnational governments, a phenomenon conceptualised as environmental paradiplomacy. Research on paradiplomacy examines subnational governments’ international relations without considering their engagement with environmental issues, while multilevel governance (MLG) theory focuses on the rescaling of governance of environmental problems without addressing subnational engagement in international relations. Combining paradiplomacy studies and MLG theory, the thesis develops an original conceptual framework to investigate a leading example of environmental paradiplomacy. The conceptual framework is applied to the case of the state of São Paulo, a regional government in Brazil that, since the 1970s, has strongly engaged in international environmental activities. In contrast with other findings on paradiplomacy, the state of São Paulo engages in international relations not only as a way of challenging, but also of collaborating with the national government. The major empirical data informing the thesis was gathered through participant observation and semi-structured interviews with key figures involved with environmental governance in the state and at the national level...

Marine payments for environmental services in an artisanal fisheries context

Barr, Rhona
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2012 Português
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The past decade has seen a growing interest in the application of the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) instrument, in part for its apparent ability to alleviate poverty and inspire sustainable environmental practices. More recently, PES programmes have been advocated for use within marine environments. However, concerns have been raised relating to their applicability in this context, e.g. ill-defined property rights and more fluid environmental services. Yet these issues have received little critical scrutiny. This thesis presents one of the first empirical analyses of the applicability of PES to the marine and coastal context, more specifically its suitability to small-scale artisanal fisheries. The first part of the thesis analyses expert opinions in order to identify what opportunities and, indeed, what obstacles remain for PES more broadly in the marine environment. The second part delves a little deeper in order to identify those determinants which can encourage adoption of marine PES within artisanal fishing communities are reported on, paying particular attention to those characteristics important for low-income and vulnerable groups. In addition, the thesis investigates how PES adoption can be influenced by several key design parameters. Analyses are based on primary data collected from six artisanal fishing villages in Mtwara...

The design features of environmental taxes

Dias Soares, Claudia A.
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2011 Português
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This dissertation aimed at assessing what environmental taxes are. It was argued clear policy guidelines for their design follow from understanding them as regulatory instruments aimed at environmental policy goals. Empirical evidence drawn from institutional practices in Denmark (waste tax), Portugal (energy tax) and Sweden (energy tax, CO2 tax, sulphur tax and the NOx charge) showed that compliance with such guidelines, which allow the distinction between environmental taxes and environmentally-related taxes, are paramount to the environmental effectiveness of these instruments. Both environmental taxes and pollution taxes or environmentally-related taxes are raised on polluting tax bases and highlight inefficiencies in abatement and opportunities for technological progress by putting a positive price on pollution, hence raising awareness and sharing responsibility. However, they are substantially different. Their underlying normative tax design is different following the different objectives they pursue. The more environmentally targeted tax design of environmental taxes makes them perform better than pollution taxes as instruments of environmental policy, producing stronger and quicker environmental effects than environmentally-related taxes raised on the same tax bases. Environmental taxes aim only or primarily at fulfilling precise environmental objectives via behavioural change and technological progress and must be ruled by environmental criteria. Their design induces behavioural change by promoting tax awareness and tax avoidance...

The biological diversity complex: a history of environmental government

Kotsakis, Andreas
Fonte: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis Publicador: London School of Economics and Political Science Thesis
Tipo: Thesis; NonPeerReviewed Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em /09/2011 Português
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The thesis understands biodiversity as a complex consisting of a form of environmentalism, a mode of governance for the global South, and a set of policy prescriptions all mobilized by the guiding idea of ‘genetic gold,’ the belief that biodiversity possesses significant latent economic value. The thesis primarily analyses the historical origins of biodiversity and the formation of a rationality of governing centred on genetic gold, deploying tools and methods from the work of Michel Foucault. It further applies these insights into the examination of two specific regulatory mechanisms developed within this project of environmental governance: the mechanism for securing access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation, and local and indigenous community participation in biodiversity conservation and utilisation. The aim of this research is a dual critique. First, the unpacking of the complexity of the biodiversity concept and its integrative rendering of biodiversity loss as a governance problem constitutes a critique of environmental law’s enthusiastic acceptance and subsequent regulation of biodiversity as genetic gold. Secondly, the conception of a broader governance complex pervaded by non-legal forms of knowledge...