The Morality of Market Mechanisms to Control Pollution

Wilfred Beckerman & Joanna Pasek

Published: September 2003

The use of pollution charges or tradeable permits to reduce pollution has been condemned by many environmentalists and some philosophers on the grounds that (i) pollution is inherently immoral; (ii) environmental assets are not appropriately valued in monetary terms; and (iii) the sale of ‘environmental indulgencies’ is inequitable since it unfairly favours the rich. In this article it is argued that all these arguments are invalid.

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