Policy Making

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 28, October 2017
Since the 1950s the amount of plastics in the marine environment has increased dramatically. Worldwide there is a growing concern about the risks and possible adverse effects of (micro)plastics. This paper reflects on the sources and effects of marine litter and the effects of policies and other actions taken worldwide. Current knowledge offers a solid basis for effective action. Yet, so far the effects of policies and other initiatives are still largely insufficient.
Fossil fuel subsidies are a key barrier for economic development and climate change mitigation. While the plunge in international fuel prices has increased the political will to introduce fossil fuel subsidy reforms, recently introduced reforms may risk backsliding when fuel prices rebound − particularly if they fail to address the underlying mechanisms that create demand for low fossil fuel prices. Extant literature has mostly focused on the consequences of fossil fuel subsidies, including their economic or environmental impact, and the social contract that make their reform difficult.
Wood residues from forest harvesting or disturbance wood from wildfire and insect outbreaks may be viewed as biomass "feedstocks" for bioenergy production, to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Biomass removals of woody debris may have potential impacts on forest biodiversity and ecosystem function. Forest-floor small mammals, such as the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) that typically disappear after clearcut harvesting, may serve as ecological indicators of significant change in forest structure and function.

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