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Incentives for sustainability

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Incentives for sustainable action take several forms:

Incentive Advantages Disadvantages
Personal satisfaction or sense of responsibility Only a small minority will take serious action. (Many us are well-intentioned but don't get far beyond good intentions.)
Social pressure/conformity No cost
Regulation Possibility of corruption? Depends on an authority to make decisions - likely to be less creative than a more open approach.
Taxes Revenue Difficulty and controversy involved in setting level of taxes; difficult for authority to raise taxes to the appropriate level due to political and electoral pressure.
Markets (e.g. carbon trading) Potential disadvantage: If allocations are given to existing emitters, that effectively rewards polluters. Strong motivation of personal gain; efficient allocation of resources.

Note that increased awarness and access to information can help people to make better choices - these are not incentives in themselves, but can make the incentives more effective.

See also

External links

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