Providing incentives for governments and the private sector to tackle pollution
Applying mandated monitoring to pollution
REM is exploring enforcement solutions in support of fast growth countries which would lead to Cleantech technologies being used and economic growth being increased, a win-win for all parties.
Many donor-driven programmes have attempted to address environmental pollution problems in fast developing countries and include measures to improve the management of waste – solid organic and non-organic waste, industrial and domestic water treatment, and sewage – to reduce GHG emissions. Some have already made progress through variety of initiatives including, 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) programmes, upgrade of waste treatment plants, and capture of landfill gas and solid waste combustion for power generation. These efforts, however, remain insufficient to keep up with rapidly growing economies, highlighting the need for innovative and comprehensives approaches to boost progress to improving waste management and reduce pollution.
REM aims to pioneer a collaboration between government, civil society and private sector to strengthen a fast-growth country’s ability to tackle pollution, improve waste management and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) Emissions through:
- Improving information management systems to better identify and monitor severe pollution causes
- Strengthening environmental law enforcement
- Supporting efficient ‘match-making’ between pollution causes and Cleantech solutions
Problems and overall approach
Inadequate waste management results in severe pollution, elevated levels of GFG emissions and decreased resilience of ecosystems to climate change. We aim to identify comprehensive solutions to tackle systematic problems, building upon ongoing government, private sector and civil society initiatives. Activities to facilitate Cleantech transfer to local industries will be considered where possible to increase national ownership and capacity.
Through research and preliminary stakeholder consultations, project partners identified the following three underlying specific problems that, once addressed, will lead to long-term improvements in waste management and pollution reduction:
Lack of access to vital information regarding pollution readily available to key decision makers
Ensuring that decision makers understand the problem is the first step towards a solution.
REM and partners will establish a pollution information tool to manage and communicate relevant, credible and explicit information in a standardised format on pollution and related waste management problems. The system will be developed to address specific needs of key user groups (e.g. enforcement agents, policy makers) and in synergy with existing government and civil society data management systems. REM has already developed such a data management tool with the World Resources Institute for forest infractions, following 15 years of formal collaboration with governments in central Africa. The tool, the Open Timber Portal, is designed to address specific needs of enforcement officials in Africa and Europe.
Inconsistent enforcement of environmental laws
Enforcement challenges include: ineffective cooperation between enforcement agencies; lack of enforcement agents; low compliance for self-monitoring; limited inspections and inefficient procedures preventing timely detection and prosecution; complex environmental impact assessment processes involving multiple agencies; and non-deterrent sanctions and penalties.
REM and partners will develop an Independent Monitoring component focusing on environmental pollution. Through this component, partners will work together to identify the major problems in terms of the worst offenders and governance/enforcement gaps as well as logical solutions based on the site-specific challenges and opportunities, including Cleantech options. This collaborative approach between an NGO (REM and local partners) and other government officials has been tested at length and proven to lead to effected results in several countries. Where conflicts exist with populations, the presence of an Independent Monitor can help improve government-community relations and provide a neutral conduit to identify issues, long-term solutions and reduce tensions. Worth highlighting is that this approach does not intend to campaign against or discredit companies, but rather to provide explicit, reliable and objective information on enforcement problems and solutions to be used primarily by the target government to strengthen enforcement, identify appropriate tech solutions, and development partners to support targeted actions and capacity building.
Insufficient implementation of cost-effective Cleantech solutions
Many Cleantech solutions to reduce GHG emissions are under consideration in fast growth countries. However, many power and manufacturing facilities continue to rely on older polluting systems making it difficult for them to comply with environmental regulations. Cleantech solutions are not employed to their full potential for a number of reasons including the lack of systematic and comprehensive ‘match making’ between problems and technologies (partially due to poor information management, inconsistent law enforcement creating an unlevel playing field in favour of out-dated polluting systems, and difficulties implementing programs due to limited technical capacity of both environmental officials and operators in collecting samples and managing data.
REM and Cleantech partners will work with target governments and industries to identify which innovative Cleantech solutions could reduce sources of pollution, or mitigate effects after an incident, through Cleantech specialised and international network. The REM monitoring component of the project will provide detailed and accurate information on such challenges and opportunities helping to ensure that the most appropriate Cleantech solutions are pursued. In addition, action to improve enforcement under the program will, in the long-term, help ensure that Cleantech solutions operate on a level playing field with the more polluting systems. Furthermore, the information management systems developed under the program will help match problems to Cleantech solutions. Partners will also identify factors preventing cleaner investment and how to make them worthwhile in the long-term in terms of technical maintenance and financial sustainability.
Ministries: better compliance with climate change, less public discontent, better enforcement
Public bodies: improved operations with Cleantech solutions
NGOs and initiatives with similar objectives: increased impact
National population: reduced negative effects on public health and livelihoods
Tourism sector: reduced risks linked to pollution and better reputation
Industry: cleaner operations, new technologies, new partnerships, increased capacity
Development partners: more effective implementation
Cleantech industries: new markets, funding opportunities
World: reduced waste, emissions and other pollutions