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Environmental sustainability: a case of policy implementation failure?


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Howes, M, Wortley, L, Potts, R, Dedekorkut-Howes, A, Serrao-Neumann, S, Davidson, J, Smith, T and Nunn, P 2017 , 'Environmental sustainability: a case of policy implementation failure?' , Sustainability, vol. 9, no. 2 , pp. 1-17 , doi: 10.3390/su9020165.

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For a generation, governments around the world have been committed to sustainable development as a policy goal. This has been supported by an array of new policies ranging from international agreements, to national strategies, environmental laws at many levels of government, regional programs, and local plans. Despite these efforts, decades of scientific monitoring indicate that the world is no closer to environmental sustainability and in many respects the situation is getting worse. This paper argues that a significant contributing factor to this situation is policy implementation failure. A systematic review of the literature reveals that the failure to achieve the intended outcomes of environmental policies is due to economic, political and communication factors. Conflict between the objectives of environmental policies and those focused on economic development, a lack of incentives to implement environmental policies, and a failure to communicate objectives to key stakeholders are all key factors that contribute to the inability to attain environmental sustainability.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Howes, M and Wortley, L and Potts, R and Dedekorkut-Howes, A and Serrao-Neumann, S and Davidson, J and Smith, T and Nunn, P
Keywords: environmental policy, sustainable development, environment, environmental governance, environmental outcomes
Journal or Publication Title: Sustainability
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
ISSN: 1937-0695
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/su9020165
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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