Since the modern era of environmental management began in the early 1970s, regulations have been used with increasing intensity and sophistication as the main instrument in steering the behaviour of economic agents in industrial production. The purpose of environmental regulation has been to coerce producers of goods and services into internalizing the environmental costs of production. These efforts have often faced opposition on practical and ideological grounds.
Since the 1980s there has been a movement towards liberalization, coupled with the continued failure of the market to protect the environment as a public good. As a result, private and public sector interests have been engaged in debate about the appropriate role of governments in protecting and improving the environment and controlling the environmental impact of industry.
The contributors to this book examine a number of political and industrial trends and responses to these challenges. A useful set of case studies appraise environmental policies and comprehensive statements on environmental protection and sustainable development by numerous countries in the North and the South.