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The Environment in Bulgaria

國家區域: 歐洲地區
資訊類別: 綠色趨勢
商品類別: 環保及設備
新聞日期: 2021/12/24
商情內容:

Environmental problems loom large in Bulgaria. However, it is difficult to know just which reform measures to suggest because the centrally planned economy of the past exacerbated the environmental difficulties.There are three reasons why the old system led to substantial ecological problems. The lack of free press meant that information was difficult to come by and government officials were not held accountable for their actions. The absence of private property rights made it easier for pollution to occur because no one had an enforceable claim when resources were despoiled. Finally, the subsidization of certain heavy industries furthered pollution. As each of these problems is remedied, Bulgaria should see an improvement in the environment.However, not all environmental problems will be solved by the proposed economic reforms, so a structure is needed for dealing with remaining difficulties. Seeing pollution as a property rights problem is a necessary first step. Common property is always overused; ecological difficulties arise because of the absence of private property rights. Therefore, reform measures should be directed at better defining and enforcing property rights. People need to be held accountable for their actions and private property rights do that.Where property rights are absent, as is often the case with air and water, government needs to take steps to allow rights to be created within those resources. These rights need to be transferable so markets can develop and the optimal amount of pollution can be determined through the interaction of producers and consumers.

 

 

Statement of the Problem 

 

Bulgaria faces immense environmental problems. By one estimate, 85 percent of river water is polluted with industrial waste and 70 percent of farmland has been damaged by industrial emissions. There is a significant amount of air pollution, and in some areas the emissions from factories are significant enough to cause both short-term and long-term health problems. Environmental problems in Bulgaria have been exacerbated by the rapid move to industrialization over the last several decades, particularly through the use of large-scale smelters, refineries, and factories.

 

However, some of the pollution problems are not because of internal production conditions; in one instance, a Romanian factory on the Bulgarian border is responsible for significant pollution in Bulgaria. Also, irresponsible actions in other countries have contributed to danger from nuclear radiation. For instance, the Chernobyl incident in the Soviet Union created potentially significant health problems in Bulgaria. The high level of pollution and other environmental problems in Bulgaria have created a significant outcry by the Bulgarian citizens and have been an important impetus for economic and political reform.

 

 

The Necessity of Reform

 

Despite the massive environmental problems facing Bulgaria, there is considerable hope for improvement in the future. Bulgaria, like other Eastern European countries, faces far worse pollution problems than other industrialized countries in Western Europe and North America. Because the Eastern European societies are changing rather rapidly and are looking more like the democratic, market societies of Western Europe, the U.S., and Canada, there is a good chance that a significant proportion of the pollution problem will be ameliorated in the process.

 

Therefore, it is somewhat difficult to know how many environmental reforms should be put in place immediately and how many should wait until the economy has undergone the transformation foreseen over the next year or two. Although the Bulgarian people have good reason to be deeply concerned about the level of pollution that they face, some patience may be necessary as economic and political reforms will change some of the environmental conditions rather dramatically.

 

There are three basic reasons why a centrally planned economy, as Bulgaria was for the last forty-five years, is likely to face significant environmental problems. First, such economies rarely have a freely functioning press that provides good information to the population about environmental problems and also brings pressure to bear upon governmental officials. Also, in the Eastern European economies, governmental officials have been reluctant to release information about existing environmental difficulties and, in fact, have repeatedly lied about pollution and health problems. The recent move to democracy in Bulgaria will make government bureaucrats much more accountable to the population, and the development of a free press has been and will continue to be an important contributor to the process of understanding and dealing with pollution.

 

Second, Bulgaria has chosen to subsidize some of the most polluting forms of industrial production and, in fact, its heaviest subsidies have gone into some areas where the most significant environmental difficulties have occurred. Mining and nonferrous metals are the source of some of the worst environmental problems in Bulgaria, and these have had some of the largest subsidies from the government. If Bulgaria moves to a truly free market economy where production is not subsidized and prices reflect economic reality, many of the worst environmental offenders will be eliminated by market forces.

發佈日期: 2021/12/24
資料提供單位: 索菲亞台灣貿易中心
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