Building the environmental state
Specific measures to prevent pollution and to protect resources in industrialized countries became more common as the 20th century advanced. But it was only in the late 1960s and early 1970s that national governments moved to establish the environment as a significant area of activity. More comprehensive measures were introduced to control emissions. By the 1990s, it was suggested that growth and environment were not necessarily contradictory. And it was only a matter of time when "sustainable development" became a talk. Today, across the developed world, there is an elaborate network of institutions explicitly concerned with environmental management that extends from the central government to the local administrations. However, on a global perspective, environmental problems appear more serious. Gains from cleaner technologies are often overwhelmed by the growth of consumption. One way to understand our form of environmental governance is to place policy developments within the context of long-term societal evolution, where the functions and organization of the state are continually adjusted as the result of ongoing struggles among different societal forces over how the public interest is to be defined. Meanwhile, Canada needs to address the climate change issue by stabilizing and then reducing its burgeoning emissions. However, the challenge for this includes the problem of interdependence with the US, which is not interested in emissions control, the rapid expansion of production in the oil sands and the constitutional division of powers around energy making cooperations on climate change so difficult to secure.
Meadowcroft, J. (2007). Building the environmental state.