Environmental economics is an important sub-area of economics primarily concerned with environmental questions. Because it is very broad, it has become a hugely researched subject over the last decade or so. This means there is quite an extensive body of research into its various aspects.
The term “environmental economics” refers to the study of how decisions on environmental matters affect economic activity. The primary concern of this research is how the impact of environmental laws and regulations can affect economic activity, especially when those laws and regulations are implemented by government entities. Often the effects of environmental regulation are found to have a negative effect on growth rates, income and employment. In many cases, these regulations are implemented as a cost-benefit analysis for policy makers and politicians. This is what environmental economics does.
The study of environmental economics has been called the new economics. With more attention being paid to environmental factors than ever before, environmental economics has emerged as an important area of economic research. It is expected to continue to be a very important area of research in the years to come. A variety of disciplines, such as political science, public policy and economics are all involved in this research.
There are two main types of research conducted in this field. One focuses on the impact of environmental regulations on the economy, while the other examines the impact of environmental laws on the economy in terms of the overall economic efficiency of a nation. A lot of thought has gone into trying to determine how best to apply environmental economics to various circumstances.
Many people think of environmental economics as a form of social science. But while this is certainly true, it is a more complex area than that. Because the economy is so intertwined with the environment, a better description is that environmental economics encompasses both economics and public policy.
One of the most important concerns for environmentalists is global warming. Global warming can be seen as the single largest threat to the human species currently existing. As people around the world become more aware of the problems and the potential impacts of global warming on their planet, there is a greater likelihood that governments will take action to reduce and/or eliminate greenhouse gases from the environment.
Other related fields that have a lot to do with public policy include health and safety, education, taxation and even international relations. These are areas that often have an impact on the environment. So, the study of environmental economics involves a wide enough that it could potentially be considered as a science.
Specific environmental economics topics include the effects of increased demand for water on water resources, pollution and energy efficiency, as well as how to deal with global warming. There is no shortage of research in this area.
There is also a broad array of public policy on which environmental economics has an influence. In the United States, for example, environmental regulations are closely monitored by Congress. In Canada, government regulations are also a large part of environmental policy making. Both countries have adopted strict measures to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency.
Environmental economics is important because it is the only branch of economics that attempts to deal with both the supply and the demand side of the economy. That is, environmental economics considers both how much something will cost and what the supply of the item will cost in the long run. As well, the distribution of the item is taken into account.
In addition to the economic analysis of environmental policies, public policy also affects the environment. For example, it may be argued that increased taxes on fuel would create a situation whereby fuel became more expensive.
There is a great deal of controversy about the impact that governments have on the environment. Some environmentalists feel that there is too much governmental intervention. However, they also feel that many environmental policies are necessary to protect the environment.