Mikael Skou Andersen

Understanding and accounting for the costs of inaction

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearch

The 2013 Late lessons from early warnings report is the second of its type produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with a broad range of external authors and peer reviewers. The case studies across both volumes of Late lessons from early warnings cover a diverse range of chemical and technological innovations, and highlight a number of systemic problems. The 'Late Lessons Project' illustrates how damaging and costly the misuse or neglect of the precautionary principle can be, using case studies and a synthesis of the lessons to be learned and applied to maximising innovations whilst minimising harms.

This chapter revisits some key environmental issues for which estimates of costs of inaction have been carefully developed over many years of research. The aim is to consider the methodological challenges involved in producing estimates that are credible and appropriate rather than present specific estimates for these costs.

Making the best use of environmental science and modelling helps to make environmental protection and precaution a priority. Producing cost estimates should not be left to economists alone, but should rather be seen as a starting point for a broader discussion, featuring also the relevant expertise in health, ecology, demography, modelling and science. Well researched estimates, based on interdisciplinary collaboration, can strengthen some of those scattered and diffuse interests, which during the ordinary processes of policy-making have difficulty making their voices heard
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLate lessons from early warnings:Science, precaution, innovation
EditorsD. Gee, P. Grandjean, S. Foss Hansen, S. van den Hove, M. MacGarvin, J. Martin, G. Nielsen, D. Quist, D. Stanners
Number of pages1
Place of publicationLuxembourg
PublisherPublications Office of the European Union
Publication year23 Jan 2013
ISBN (print)978-92-9213-349-8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2013
SeriesEEA Report

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