Environment

enforcement Enforcement is an important issue in the implementation of environmental policy. If a policy is enacted but not enforced by the relevant authorities, then the environmental problem which the policy seeks to address will persist. Lack of enforcement is a particular problem for countries which lack administrative or legal capacity, which have a large black economy or which suffer from corruption. To facilitate the enforcement of environmental policies, capacity building may be required, leading to implementation costs.

Enforcement may also be an issue in the design of international environmental agreements. Several recent agreements include the potential use of trade sanctions to encourage compliance with the agreement by signatory nations. Where global environmental problems are concerned, an example being climate change, enforcement of such agreements may be particularly difficult, given the gains that can be obtained by the nation which reneges on the agreement. This is an example of the free rider problem.

Engel Curve A representation of the relationship between income and expenditure on a given good. When plotted on a log scale, the slope of the curve at any point represents the income elasticity ofdemand for the good, or the incremental change in demand from an incremental change in income. See also Engel's Law.

Engel's Law This law states that the proportion of a nation's income spent on food indicates the nation's relative level of welfare. Lower proportions of expenditure on food relative to other consumption imply a higher standard of living, since as income rises, expenditure on food rises less than proportionally. See also Engel Curve.

engineering approach This is an approach to identifying the costs of implementing environmental measures, in particular the reduction of pollution emissions. This approach, rather than measuring the costs of pollution reduction for each firm, uses standard engineering data. This produces a cost estimate for a typical well-informed firm. This method saves the costs of collecting information about individual firms and avoids the possibility that some firms may inflate their stated costs in the hope of receiving a lower emissions reduction target. The disadvantage of this method, however, is that the typical estimates may be inaccurate for any particular firm. (Tietenberg, 1996.)

entropy A measure of the disorder in a system. The lower the entropy in a system, the more order there is and the more energy is available. For instance, compare a piece of wood and the ashes and dispersed heat which remain after it is burned. From the First Law of Thermodynamics, the matter and energy in existence after the burning are exactly the same as they were before. However, the entropy has increased; the order and the amount of available energy have both decreased. In environmental economics the concept of entropy is relevant via the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that the entropy of a system must either increase or remain unchanged. This has been used by the economist Georgescu-Rogen to argue that materials should be conserved as far as possible since their complete recycling is impossible. See Perman et al (1999).

environment Refers to the quantity and quality of natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable. It includes the ambient environment, which

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