Project: Environmental Measures by a Country Unilaterally
If you have compelling arguments against unilateral measures or, conversely,
you feel that government should be vigorously persuaded to act unilaterally,
we would like to hear from you.
An entry in Chapter 29 of A Better Organization points to this project.
The comments of 2009-11-16 on page Reflections give it a leg up.
A consensus of governments as to the ways and time lines of addressing the environmental threats is nowhere in sight. The counter-standing of the developing countries and the developed countries is unrelenting. Therefore, unilateral implementation of environmental measures in a country, not waiting for other countries' cooperation, is an intriguing subject. If Our Country undertakes such a feat, it will become an environmental leader. Is such leadership feasible?
As a matter of fact, some countries have already demonstrated that it is. As per reporting (you may need to press Ctrl key while clicking) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Russia, Germany, Britain, Sweden, France, Switzerland, and Netherlands have achieved reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the period of time from 1990 to 2007 (in the order of the percentage reductions, the highest listed first).
Let us try to characterize the benefits from and the possibility of unilateral measures for some countries.
The United States of America
The benefits would be substantial. The legislative history however demonstrates that no far-reaching laws have been implemented timely, if at all. Examples include the flat-rate income tax and a healthcare reform.
The geographic proximity to the United States is disadvantageous in deriving the benefits. The economic interdependencies with the United States would make the unilateral measures difficult to implement.
A West European country
Similar points to those stated for Canada can be made here.
The geographic detachment of the continent and its large size give this country advantages in deriving benefits.
The Russian Federation
A large size of the country would make the benefits substantial. The ability of government to enact promptly even radical laws (e.g., the flat-rate income tax), indicates a realistic possibility for timely unilateral implementation.
The People’s Republic of China
A large size of the country and a high density of its population foretell the exceptionally attractive benefits. The ability of government to follow through on radical strategic policies has been demonstrated with the orderly, decades-long transition to capitalism. This country appears to be in the best position for unilateral implementation.
Whichever country may venture a unilateral implementation of environmental measures, a determined exercise of sovereignty will be called for.
The project Environmental Levies (see its page) presents, as we contend, the only effectual approach to countering the environmental threats.
Page started on September 11, 2007; last updated on November 16, 2009