The E.g. Australian Gillard Administration succeeded in implementing


The State /


Exploit natural
resources for economic progress/ job creation / generate income
No one country wants
to “step up” and commit to drastic cuts in carbon emissions or pledges to
do so are often reneged due to pressure from businesses
E.g. Australian
Gillard Administration succeeded in implementing a hotly debated carbon
emission tax, finally putting a price on their carbon footprint. Tax was
praised by environmental activist but reviled by corporations.

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Change of government
caused the unpopular law to be repealed as the decline in economy
prompted a move to encourage economic activity

E.g. Australia cut
fundings for environmental research for scientists, leading to serious
implications on the lack of research data for analysis to track problems
of global warming
E.g. Donald Trump’s
vow to repeal Obama’s Clean Energy Bill and bring back the coal industry
to restore jobs

Supposed to reduce
carbon emissions to ? current level
Dismissed scientific
evidence of climate change
Most recently pulled
out of paris climate agreement

E.g. Australia
unveiled plans for world’s biggest marine park

Includes Coral Sea,
surrounding the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, and provide
enhanced protection of threatened species like the green turtle, dugong
and blue whale
Environment Minister
Tony Burke wanted the reserves to set a global benchmark for environmental
protection and ensure food security
BUT move drew angry
response from commercial and sports fisherman, claiming ti would cost
jobs and lead to price hikes


National interests and
issues of sovereignty may conflict with other countries thus some become
irresponsible and lack the political will to tackle environmental problems
E.g. Indonesia slow
and lax enforcement of the law to prosecute environmental violators that
contribute to the haze crisis

SG enforcement of
Transboundary Haze Act was met with disapproval from indonesia, citing
sovereignty issues


Poorer nations keen to
have economic growth for the betterment of people’s lives but it is
difficult to do without the help of richer nations to offset the cost of
protecting the environment

Poorer nations expect
richer nations to “pick up the tab” or have greter responsibility for
conserving the environment




Profit motivated and
not always adopting eco-friendly measure as they prove to be costly
E.g. India and China
manufacturing factories are notorious for lacking sewage treatment and
routinely dumping untreated industrial waste into rivers.

Ganges river in India
has one of the highest toxicity levels in the world

E.g. Shanghai scandal
– pig carcasses dumped into the river by errant pig farm, polluting river
and drinking water
E.g. China Qingdao
rivers known for experiencing unprecedented alga bloom

“Green sea”


Individuals /


Use the earth’s
resources or our own lifestyle needs
Slow to change our
ways – shopping and consumerism is too ingrained as part of our lives

Incessant consumption
fuelled by decades of capitalism and rising affluence
Throwaway consumerist
Insatiable desire to
buy status symbols – constant upgrades for our electronic devices due to
planned built-in obsolescence contribute to demand for rare minerals and
immense amount of electronic waste today dumped in developing countries

E.g. illegal toxic
e-waste dumping in developing countries

Poison graveyard of e
waste in Ghana filled with toxic lead and phosphorus gas

Many are apathetic or
lack the resolve to change lifestyle habits that would have a significant