What do you understand my “Polluter Pays Principle”?
The 'polluter pays' principle is the commonly accepted practice that ...
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Published on: Mar 4, 2016

Transcripts - polluter

  • 1. What do you understand my “Polluter Pays Principle”? The 'polluter pays' principle is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment. For instance, a factory that produces a potentially poisonous substance as a byproduct of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal. This imposes a charge on the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to the corresponding potential cost caused through future climate change. In this way, a financial incentive is created for a factory, for instance, to minimize its costs by reducing emissions. This is a concept that was first described by Thomas Lindhqvist for the Swedish government in 1990. The Polluter pays principle is also known as extended producer responsibility (EPR). OECD defines EPR as: “a concept where manufacturers and importers of products should bear a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product life-cycle, including upstream impacts inherent in the selection of materials for the products, impacts from manufacturers’ production process itself, and downstream impacts from the use and disposal of the products. Producers accept their responsibility when designing their products to minimize life-cycle environmental impacts, and when accepting legal, physical or socio-economic responsibility for environmental impacts that cannot be eliminated by design.” In environmental law, the polluter pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. The polluter pays principle underpins environmental policy such as an ecotax, which, if enacted by government, deters and essentially reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It is regarded as a custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Community (EC) countries. In international environmental law it is mentioned in Principle 16 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. The principle as laid down in the Rio Declaration can be discussed as: - If environmental costs are not internalized (or if state subsidies are given to polluting industries or if preventive measures are paid by the state) this could lead to distortion of international trade and investment. Thus, due application of the principle also protects economic interests. (But: no excessive application of principle, which may again lead to distortions.) The preventive function of the PPP is based on the assumption that the polluter will reduce pollution as soon as the costs which he or she has to bear are higher than the benefits anticipated from continuing pollution. As the costs for precautionary measures also have to be paid by the potential polluter, he or she has an incentive to reduce risks and invest in appropriate risk management measures. Finally, the PPP has a curative function, which means that the polluter has to bear the clean-up costs for damage already occurred. Susma Giri Roll. No: - 21(A)

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