Friday, June 20, 2008

Environment protection and private incentives

It is usual to read comments concerning the environment conservation ,concerning the way people should behave or feel ,in such a way that the positive externality of either behavior or feelings , turns out to be an higher self consciousness when it comes to deal with the challenge of improving our understanding about environment.
Most of the key players on the issue, agree that it is crucial to keeping the pace on environment conservation ,with no further delay, specially at the level of government level policy design. However, individual efforts are also important, in fact it matter a lot to have a global community well aware of the magnitude of the threats which is upon us. Thus, world celebrities on different fields (fashion, sport, global media, movies),make a strong contribution on this regards. So, they are very welcome.
The key question though is: What are the incentives for ordinary citizens to follow such impulse?.The first and obvious one, is admiration of what those celebrities are capable of. Unfortunately, it is not enough , and it is necessary to consider more direct incentives for ordinary citizens .
Economics teach precisely that: Incentives moves people decisions, to get their highest welfare level. It is well known that there are already alternatives both for firms and individuals to use better and more friendly environment source of energy. Green bonus, is a market mechanism to induce firms a more active role to protect environment, in this case based on profit they can get for not contaminate. But is it enough?.These days, tax deductions should be applied taking into account, the kind of policy firms have toward environment protection. On the other side, Individual also needs those kind of incentives .Let consider the case of a family who want to have their house with solar energy panels. What do they get in return?.Sure lower energy bills, but do they get a tax deduction on other expenses ,because the energy they are saving means supporting environment protection?.Therefore, taxes as an incentive for growth ,should be planned to do so, considering environment as a key variable, as a fist step to get sustainable growth .-