What types of government incentives exist to convince people to reduce air pollution?

1 Answer
Mar 3, 2016

Cash incentives are the most common mechanism.


Many governments will attempt to change people's air pollution behaviour by what is known as "carrots" and "sticks". Carrots are financial incentives to help people make cleaner choices, while sticks are regulations preventing some behaviours or fines/penalties for emitting some pollutant beyond regulated limits.

Some incentives in North America include: a cash back on high energy efficient furnaces or air conditioner units (e.g. if a furnace costs, say $4,000 you might get $1,000 of this from the government). Incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles are another example.

Examples of both carrots and sticks operating together might be a new regulation to eliminate old style incandescent light bulbs and some financial incentives to purchase more expensive, but more energy efficient, LED bulbs.