New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2005‒06‒19
four papers chosen by

  1. Implementing Extended Producer Responsibility in Flemish Waste Policy: Evaluation of the Introduction of the Duty of Acceptance By R. BRACKE; M. DE CLERCQ
  2. Environmental Auditing and the Role of the Accountancy Profession: A Literature Review By P. DE MOOR; I. DE BEELDE
  3. Towards sustainable lignite consumption in Turkey and a welfare analysis By Olfa Jaballi; Sebnem Sahin
  4. Environmental Kuznets Curve on Country Level: Evidence from China By Junyi Shen; Yoshizo Hashimoto

    Abstract: In order to implement extended producer responsibility in the Flemish waste policy, the Flemish government introduced the duty of acceptance in the Waste Decree. At the moment, the duty applies for paper, batteries, vehicles, tyres and electrical and electronic equipment. Producers are obliged to set up free of charge take-back collection systems for the disposal of their products in the post-consumption phase. As such, market failure is corrected by reconverting social costs into private ones, respecting the polluter pays principle. For the practical execution of the basic rules laid down in the legal framework, negotiated agreements are concluded with sector associations. This sector-based policy approach allows setting up efficient collection and disposal networks taking into account the specific characteristics of each waste product rather than implementing a uniform system. Although the duty of acceptance confronts producers with waste management responsibilities, they have actually succeeded in shifting most of the burden to the recovery sector. As waste management organisations have become the rightful owner of end-of-life products, they were able to create a rivalry amongst waste management companies. This enabled them to impose the recovery targets, to which the producers have engaged themselves in the negotiated agreements, on the recovery sector. On the one hand the monopolistic position of these waste management organisations stimulates market concentration in the recovery sector, setting aside small and medium sized companies, which could lead to negative monopolistic consequences. On the other hand, this entails a positive effect on the environmental performance of the recovery sector. Moreover, a lot of management tasks are passed on from government administrations to these private waste management organisations so that more government resources can be spent to tailor-made waste policy making. Additional resources and learning experiences have significantly improved the quality of more recently concluded negotiated agreements. Convinced that this innovative policy approach contributes to the overall goal of sustainable development, the government has already planned to start up additional sector-based policy programs based on the duty of acceptance.
    Keywords: Waste management policy, extended producer responsibility, negotiated agreements, duty of acceptance
    Date: 2005–04
    Abstract: This review of the literature on environmental auditing and the potential role of accountants distinguishes between compliance audits and audits of the environmental management system. After an extensive introduction to the concept, this review focuses on the similarities and differences between an environmental audit and a financial statement audit. Except that environmental audits are largely unregulated, the general approach to both types of audits is similar. Both audits place an emphasis on the evaluation of control systems, which is an argument in favor of external auditors playing a role in environmental audits. Another argument for including external accountants, is their code of ethics. However, these professionals seem to be reluctant to enter the field of environmental auditing. It is argued that this reluctance is because of a lack of generally accepted principles for conducting environmental audits. If external accountants are engaged in environmental auditing, they should be part of multidisciplinary teams that also include scientists and engineers to avoid a too strong focus on procedures. Rather than treating these audits as totally different, it is proposed that there be a move towards integrated, or even universal, audits.
    Keywords: Environmental auditing, Environmental reporting, Compliance audit, Environmental management system, External auditors
    Date: 2005–04
  3. By: Olfa Jaballi (EUREQua); Sebnem Sahin (EUREQua & OECD)
    Abstract: Sustainable consumption is at the center of sustainable development that every country seems to want. One of the great challenges of this century must be to understand what drives the consumption and how we can reduce consumption through increased efficiency. However consumption is not simply determined by population growth, which is commonly assumed to be a key cause of unsustainable consumption, but also by economic activity, technology choices, social values, institutions and policies. In this paper, we focus our analysis on lignite consumption in Turkey as an exhaustible natural resource and we assume that the consumption is only the ultimate end of the economic activity. Some improvments of the Weitzman model (1976) are proposed by introducing an environmental preference parameter into the model to complement his interpretation of welfare. Our aim is to pass from theory to practical applications by presenting some modest empirical results. Our model is constructed under GAMS for the period 1980-2080 using Turkish data and leads to the interesting result that an environmental taxation policy can lead to a social welfare increase in Turkey.
    Keywords: Dynamic welfare, exhaustible resource, sustainable consumption
    JEL: D90 Q01 Q30
    Date: 2005–04
  4. By: Junyi Shen (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University); Yoshizo Hashimoto (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis proposes that there is an inverse-U-shape relationship between environmental degradation and per capita income. This evidence has been manifested to be existed in most air pollutants and several water pollutants by estimating on cross-country data. Different from most earlier empirical studies, this paper uses the cross-province panel data of seven pollutants from China to investigate whether the EKC hypothesis may even exist on a country level. The estimated results find out that the EKC hypothesis exists in five of these pollutants, while the other two show a N-shape relationship between pollutant emission and per capita income. Moreover, this paper suggests some problems of this regression as being remained for future study.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), pollution emission, economic growth, GDP per capita
    Date: 2004–05

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