Monday, November 28, 2011

Example Of Government Failing To Consider Monitoring Costs And Inaccuracies For Environmental Mandates

As 2009 Economics Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom, and others in her field, have noted, when governance of the commons shifts from participants at the local level to a centralized government structure, information and observations are lost and monitoring of effects on the commons becomes costly and inaccurate.

For example, from Nature, "The problems with emissions trading: How does putting a price on carbon reduce greenhouse-gas emissions?" by Hannah Hoag:
Alberta’s Can$60 million (US$57 million) carbon-cutting programme is failing, according to the latest report from the Canadian province’s auditor-general, Merwan Saher. Like many such programmes around the world, it includes an emissions trading scheme, which allows polluters to meet their emissions reductions targets by buying carbon offsets from a selection of approved projects. The offsets are supposed to be real, measurable and provable. But the report claims that the province, despite earlier warnings, has not improved its regulatory structure — and calls the emissions estimates and the offsets themselves into question.

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