Environmental Conservation is solely the responsibility of the government. Do you agree?

Environmental Conservation is solely the responsibility of the government. Do you agree?

Environmental questions are possibly the simplest to tackle in the examination given the predictability of the type of questions that come out. This question is asking about who are the actors that should be responsible in the protection and conservation of the environment. Very simply, students can examine it from the local, intra-regional and trans-national level for this essay.

On a local scale, we can safely say that individuals have a part to play in environmental conservation. Individuals have an obligation to safeguard the earth, and to let future generations inherit the earth in the same condition that they have inherited it from their forefathers. Individuals have to take note of their consumption patterns and materialistic tendencies in order to reduce unnecessary consumptions. Our lifestyles and habits go a long way in ensuring a more sustainable earth as well. For instance, individuals can always practice recycling habits and to purchase products that are environmentally friendly (bio-degradable products). However, one should always question the willingness of individuals to change their lifestyle consumption habits and spending just for environmental conservation. Would individuals be more willing to spend on electric cars than normal cars requiring fuel? Would they be willing to spend more on recycled tissue for home use? When we want individuals to make the such consumption changes, we are assuming that they are willing to do so and spend the money.  But are they?

Governments on the local level can also advocate for greater environmental awareness among the citizens and champion environmental movements in order to instill and cultivate a care for the environment. In Singapore, there is the clean and green campaign; energy efficient campaign; Keep Singapore clean movement. To spearhead a change in habits of individuals, governments can always offer subsidies for environmental friendly products such as hybrid cars. Currently, Germany and China are offering subsidies in order to spur consumptions of these hybrid cars. Such initiatives are seen to be more effective if they are coming from the government, a top-down approach could possibly incite more changes in behaviour especially with legislation compared to a bottom-up approach.

Finally, governments can always collaborate and work together to reduce carbon emission rates across countries. This works on the assumption that countries are able to put aside their own self-interests for the larger good of the environment. For instance, we have the environmental summit organized by the UN every year and the Kyoto Protocol in order to reduce emissions rates. However, one should always be critical and wonder if these environmental summits set out to achieve what they have in mind initially and whether the reduction in emissions really lead to an improvement of the larger environmental condition.



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