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This paper focuses mainly on the distributional dimension of environmental policy-making in Europe in relation to the acidification problem. It is argued that the social and economic costs for reaching a common environmental goal are significantly unequal for the different member states because the different areas/states are not equally vulnerable to the deposition (critical loads approach), and do not start from an evenly damaged ecosystem. The localisation of the emissions sources, the size of the territory and the integrated assessment models on which the abatement scenarios often are based are of critical importance in defining and implementing the international agreements on acidification. The Oslo Protocol on sulphur emissions does establish a country specific target of emissions reduction based on the critical load concept, instead of the uniform 30 % emission reduction accorded at Helsinki in 1985. Nevertheless, it still implies an unequal cost-sharing between the parties.

Additional information

Authors: CASTELLS N, Free University of Amsterdam, Department of Regional Economics (NL);NIJKAMP P, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Acid Reign '95, Gothenburg (SE), June 26, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 39109 ORA
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