Environmental Problems

Q1 Please post one or two examples of environmental problems associated with the extraction, or use, or disposal of
• non-renewable environmental resources
• renewable resources
for each example, provide a brief commentary regarding the examples you suggest (and useful links if you come across them)

Q2 In many parts of the UK, domestic waste is partly put into household recycling bins, with the rest – that which is not specifically designated for direct recycling – being put into general wate bins (from which a large proportion goes into landfill or is incinerated). Larger items of domestic rubbish being disposed of – such as old electronic items, old carpets etc – are often disposed of at designated recycling centres.

Comment on any weaknesses in this general approach and propose improvements that could be made that might:
(a) reduce the total amount of household waste that needs to be disposed of, and
(b) increase the proportion of total household waste that is properly recycled.
You might wish to think about pricing and/or penalty systems for waste. For example, should households be charged whether households should be charged for the weight or volume of general, unsorted, waste?

Q3 A. Look at the following three Excel worksheets, named respectively: TAX, SUBSIDY, and PERMITS
• A1: Explain what is meant by the term “Real Resource Cost of Compliance”
• A2: For each of the three regimes being examined (in the three worksheets named TAX, SUBSIDY, and PERMITS), explain why the Real Resource Cost of Compliance differs between the 5 firms. [HINT: the 5 firms all differ from one another in terms of their marginal abatement cost (MAC) schedules.]
• A3: When comparing the three regimes being examined, explain why FOR ANY PARTICULAR FIRM the “Real Resource Cost of Compliance” is identical across the three regimes. [HINT: For each particular firm (say Firm 2 for example), the three sheets show that the firm will do the same quantity of emissions reduction irrespective of whether they face an emissions tax, an emisssions abatement subsidy, or have to acquire marketable permits to emit).
B. Again, look at the three Excel worksheets, named TAX, SUBSIDY and PERMITS. Now consider not only the Real Resource Costs of Compliance but also the other financial costs (or incomes) incurred by the firms firms – that is tax payments for emissions that still take place under a TAX regime; subsidy receipts under a SUBSIDY regime;, and permit payments for permits bought (or permit receipts for permits sold ) under a PERMITS regime.
• B!. Why do the magnitudes of the total costs to firms (resource costs of compliance plus other financial costs) differ between firms and between regimes.
• B2. If firms act in their own self-interest, which of the three regimes would they prefer?
C. Which of the 3 regimes involves the least claim on Government Funds?

Best of luck – don’t worry about getting wrong answers – what I am concerned about is just that you make a good attempt at getting sensible answers.

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