It is this relentless pursuit of growth around the world that is causing increasingly dangerous levels of environmental degradation and giving rise to the phenomenon of climate change with all its consequences.
Environmental concerns of the earlier years that focused on adverse effects on human health have since long moved to the more universal concerns regarding the very survival of life on this planet. These concerns have led to concerted efforts at national and international levels to enact stringent laws to safeguard our environment. These laws embody the principle of ‘polluter pays’ and are intended not only to control and regulate emissions / discharges (including, due to unforeseen incidents) from any economic activity, but also to forewarn the businesses of the penal liabilities for failing to confirm to regulations. However there are arguments supporting and opposing the effectiveness of this principle. This article examines them in the light of specific incidents and proposes that the principle of ‘polluter pays’ is a sufficient and necessary deterrent for any
The polluter pays principle came into vogue in 1973 and was incorporated into the European Communities Treaty in 1987 (Coffey and Newcombe, 2002, p.1-3). The European Communities Act, 1972 (UK) enabled the government of UK to implement European Community Law as a domestic law through regulations brought before the Parliament to make the necessary changes to the UK laws (UK Law online, 2009). The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 is one such instance concerning the UK environmental laws and it came into force on March 1, 2009 embodying the polluter pays principle. By using the terms remediation and liabilities, the concept of making good any damage to the environment / suffering penalties, is brought forth through these regulations. In other words, businesses that conduct specified activities in all the three