The Environmental Law Centre promotes the polluter pays principle as central to effective environmental law. Inherent in the polluter pays principle is the assumption that if you can’t afford to clean up a mess, you shouldn’t be in business to begin with. Of course nothing is as simple as that, as environmental impacts (and pollution) and economic growth often come hand in hand; Government, for its part, promotes and regulates both.
The competing aims of growth and environmental protection are often most starkly viewed through a polluter pays lens. This will lead one immediately to discussions of financial security for remediating environmental harm, environmental impacts of insolvent and bankrupt polluters, and efficient and timely remediation of environmental harms. This was the focus of the recent Supreme Court of Canada case of Newfoundland and Labrador v. AbitibiBowater Inc., 2012, SCC 67.
Read “Creditor protection versus polluter pays: Laws leave environment cash strapped” on the ELC blog.
The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.
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