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Environmental sustainability: a case of policy implementation failure?


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, Environmental sustainability: a case of policy implementation failure?, Sustainability, 9, (2) Article 165. ISSN 1937-0695 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

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

DOI: doi:10.3390/su9020165


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:environmental policy, sustainable development, environment, environmental governance, environmental outcomes
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Environment policy
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Davidson, J (Dr Julie Davidson)
ID Code:114806
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:110
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-02-28
Last Modified:2018-07-31
Downloads:134 View Download Statistics

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