The Missing Instrument: Dirty Input Limits
52 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2008 Last revised: 24 Sep 2014
Date Written: April 9, 2008
This article evaluates an environmental protection instrument that the literature has hitherto largely overlooked, Dirty Input Limits (DILs), quantitative limits on the inputs that cause pollution. DILs provide an alternative to cumbersome output-based emissions trading and performance standards. DILs have played a role in some of the world's most prominent environmental success stories. They have also begun to influence climate change policy, because of the impossibility of imposing an output-based cap on transport emissions. We evaluate DILs' administrative advantages, efficiency, dynamic properties, and capacity to better integrate environmental protection efforts. DILs, we show, not only have significant advantages that make them a good policy tool, they also have the capacity to help us fruitfully reconceptualize environmental law in more holistic fashion.
Keywords: environment, environmental, regulation, climate change, global warming, regulatory instruments, instrument choice, emissions trading, upstream, downstream, inputs, outputs, fossil fuels, cap and trade, pollution prevention, end-of-the-pipe
JEL Classification: K32, L51, O31, O33, O38, Q28, Q38, Q40, Q42, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation