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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how the introduction of technological regulatory standards in environmental law changed the terms of environmental policy debate in an unexpected manner. Technology as one tool to reach environmental goals began to be discussed in policy and legal research as if the technology standard was itself the ultimate policy goal. This led to debates and critiques over the merits of technology as a matter of environmental policy. Attacks came from the right in the form of efficiency critiques of laws requiring certain technologies or processes, and from the left in a general attack on the use of technological controls instead of changes in lifestyle or consumption patterns. This in turn skewed the terms of environmental policy debate, particularly in relation to underlying policy values. Only by a recognition of the original purpose and role of technological standards can these underlying policy debates be appropriately discussed and debated.

Keywords: environment, environmental law, technology, pollution, technology forcing, market control, consumption

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