Neoliberalism by design: changing modalities of market-based environmental governance

Lockie, Stewart (2014) Neoliberalism by design: changing modalities of market-based environmental governance. In: Lockie, Stewart, Sonnenfeld, David A., and Fisher, Dana R., (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge, London, UK, pp. 70-80.

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[Extract] Economist Nicholas Stern's advice to the British Government in 2008 that anthropogenic climate change is 'the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen' (Stern 2007: i) was widely hailed as a seminal moment in the political and economic mainstreaming of environmental issues. In arguing that the benefits of strong and immediate action to mitigate against damaging climate change were likely to far outweigh any costs in relation to short-term economic growth, Stern seemed to be stating the obvious. Higher mean temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, more frequent extreme weather events, sea level rise and the increased potential for abrupt large-scale shifts in climate states are all likely to impose significant costs and to damage long-term economic growth. Addressing the threat posed by climate change to the well-being of human communities therefore requires us to look beyond old debates over conservation versus development, wildlife versus people, etc. and to recognize that the health of the global economy depends on the health of global ecosystems. Stern's declaration did not, of course, close off debate over whether anthropogenic climate change is actually occurring or, to the extent that it is, whether it is economically rational to do anything about it. Nevertheless, this statement was emblematic of a growing global orthodoxy that environmental degradation, where it does occur, is best conceptualized as a form of market failure that is most effectively dealt with through the application of various forms of market-based policy instrument.

Item ID: 30951
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-415-78279-1
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2014 02:43
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960707 Trade and Environment @ 50%
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