Fewer industrial firms would violate environmental legislation and a higher number would adopt cleaner technologies if environmental authorities would focus their monitoring efforts on companies with the most environmentally damaging technology. At a societal level, such a strategy would mean less pollution at the same or a lower cost of monitoring, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg.
‘Since all people suffer from air pollution and global climate change, our research is relevant to everybody. But our findings are particularly important to the public authorities in charge of monitoring businesses’ compliance with environmental regulations,’ says Xiao-Bing Zhang, who in his doctoral thesis in environmental economics has looked at cooperation and how it affects the climate. He has given particular attention to paradoxes related to environment policy.
One such paradox is that firms’ compliance with environmental regulations is generally high even if inspections occur infrequently and fines for non-compliance are rare and small. In other words, surprisingly many companies choose to follow the rules even if the risk of getting busted is low.
For environmental authorities with limited, tax-funded budgets, it is of course important that the monitoring and sanctioning efforts are carried out as cost-efficiently as possible. Xiao-Bing Zhang has analysed a type of control system that takes both the technology used by companies and how well the firms comply with environmental legislation into account.
‘It’s fair to assume that companies that have already adopted cleaner technologies are better at complying with regulations, and that it therefore would be a better investment to focus the monitoring on this group in order to get a larger share of all companies to comply with environmental legislation,’ says Xiao-Bing Zhang.
‘However, our results show that the net benefit to society is maximised by focusing the monitoring on the companies that use the most environmentally damaging technologies. This type of control system encourages businesses to invest in greener technology. The total share of companies that use more modern and environmentally friendly technology increases and the emissions decrease. And the monitoring costs go down.’
Next, Xiao-Bing Zhang will apply his findings in studies of industrial firms in Beijing. The sky over the Chinese capital is a clear indicator that restrictions and monitoring of emissions can be effective. Prior to the National People's Congress in March, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit last autumn and the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese government set out to reduce the city’s smog and air pollution in order to avoid negative publicity. To this end, some factories were ordered to close temporarily, mandatory days off from work were introduced, and car traffic was restricted. And it worked – the sky turned blue. But only until the restrictions were lifted.
The thesis was written with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s (Sida) environmental capacity-building programme.
Title of the doctoral thesis: Cooperation and Paradoxes in Climate Economics >> Ladda ned pdf https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/38164/1/gupea_2077_38164_1.pdf
For more information, please contact: Xiao-Bing Zhang, Xiao-Bing.Zhang@economics.gu.se
Supervisors: Thomas Sterner, email@example.com, Jessica Coria, firstname.lastname@example.org
Communication officer: Karin Backteman, email@example.com, +46 708 74 51 31
Ulrika Lundin | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine