Who owns the Air - Essay Example

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The absence of ownership and control leads to the absence of the responsibility. Thus, the resources like water or air can be overused and polluted. On the other hand, the presence of many controlling agents increases the…
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Who owns the Air
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Who owns the Air? Who owns the Air? If a resource belong to nobody it is not used properly. The absence of ownership and control leads to the absence of the responsibility. Thus, the resources like water or air can be overused and polluted. On the other hand, the presence of many controlling agents increases the transaction problems (German and Keeler, 2010). The optimal model of the rational use of common-pool resources has to contain several types of institutions on different levels (private, community, state and international) that share the responsibility and coordinate their actions.
Private entrepreneur can be one of leading agents responsible for the proper use and pollution of the air. Theoretically, business can use the most effective technologies trying to get more profits from the exploitation of the resources. The growing concern about the air pollution may change the approach to pollution prevention from end of pipe approach to the reducing of the pollution at its source. However, so-called “green capitalism” is still oriented on the getting profit from the situation. Besides, private enterprise cannot be responsible for any trans-boundary effects or the externalities (German and Keeler, 2010). In case of the air pollution, private entrepreneur cannot be responsible for the pollutants that are transmitted from the other regions. It is hard to determine to what extent each company is responsible for the content of the pollutant in the certain region.
Local (or regional) authorities could manage common pool resources (including air) through the effective self-governing institutions. The representatives of the community are aimed on the preservation of the resources and on the care about health within the location. Self-governing institutions may establish the rules (or the limitations) that exclude the undesirable agents. However, the community cannot predict rapidly changing circumstances and may not know how to deal with new actors. It is also hard to apply sanctions “from within” (German and Keeler, 2010). Apart from the reaction on the changing circumstances, local authorities are also not protected from the trans-boundary effects.
The state is not always the best agent in the sphere of pollution prevention. On the one hand, the state establish the legislation and tradable environmental allowances for the whole territory of the country. It possesses enough resources to organize control the pollution. State programs of pollution prevention take into account the interests of local authorities and private enterprises. On the other hand, corruption, conflicts between the politicians may lead to the creation of programs and state regulations that are consensus and include interests of business and political groups. State may manage the exploitation of the resources possessing inadequate information. State regulations often provoke resentment from the side of rights’ holders. State control de facto can be insufficient (German and Keeler, 2010).
Concerning air pollution, it is always important to remember that some types of pollutants are spread worldwide. For example, the issue of global warming have to be considered by all countries of the world. However, international agreements does not take into account the interests of the individual country. In case of developing countries, international agreements may destroy their economy resulting in serious social harms. Thus, the international cooperation and responsibility of all countries for the air pollution is not always an effective approach.
The control of air pollution and its prevention (as well as pollution of any other resource) cannot be put on one actor. The “hybrid” governance regimes could be the appropriate solution (German and Keeler, 2010). Private entrepreneurs have to control the technology (making it less harmful) and emission of pollutants. Communities establish the limitations concerning air pollution in the region and interact with representatives of business. State have to take into account the interests of communities and business as well as global environmental issues. International agreements have to take into consideration the interests of individual countries. An interaction at all levels is the most important part of common-pool resources’ effective management. “Hybrid institutions” should act based on the philosophy of sustainable development and on the sustainable economic model.
German, L.A. and Keeler, A. (2010). “Hybrid institutions”: applications of common property theory beyond discrete property regimes. International Journal of the Commons 4(1). Retrieved July 8, 2014 from: Read More
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