Advanced Concepts Unit 5 Government and Sustainability

Essential Question What are the roles of governments in addressing sustainability market failures? The Big Idea Individuals, organizations, and businesses have essential roles to play in the transition to sustainability. However, the scale of challenges such as climate change, water scarcity, global biodiversity loss, and widespread economic inequality is so large that it is necessary for governments to play a leading role. In addition, as outlined in Unit 7, the current configuration of the global economic system is in many ways fundamentally unsustainable. For these reasons, most sustainability advocates look to governments in order to promote environmental health and social equality. Governments have successfully addressed some environmental concerns such as acid rain and ozone depletion, yet they have been much less successful at promoting a comprehensive sustainability agenda. This unit takes a look at the various roles of government, and considers their challenges, effectiveness, and how our evolving understanding of sustainability is driving substantial changes to governmental approaches. Topics Covered: Successes and Challenges of Regulations  Policy Successes and Challenges  Pollution Markets: Cap and Trade Political Constraints on Government Action: Climate Change The Problems of Enforcement  Case Study: Chesapeake Bay Watershed This course is approved for 1.5 GBCI CE Hours for LEED Credential Maintenance.  Please note: This course is part of the 7.5 hour course Advanced Concepts in Sustainability (aka the Fellow Certificate).