Damage from environmental pollution - Economics of nature management

Environmental damage

Economic damage from environmental pollution is understood as a monetary assessment of the negative changes in its main properties under the influence of technogenic factors. This refers to the widest range of consequences - from deteriorating human health to accelerating depreciation of fixed assets, a decrease in the productivity of farmland, the death of fish in water bodies, and the like. The mechanism of damage occurrence is shown in Fig. 3.5.

The mechanism of damage occurrence

Fig. 3.5. The mechanism of damage:

I - the socio-economic system; II - the natural environment; III - the conditions of life; IV - indicators of the level of well-being; 1 - emissions of harmful substances into the environment; 2 - change in living conditions under the influence of changes in the basic properties of the environment; 3 - change of indicators of a standard of living; 4 - deterioration of production conditions under the influence of changes in the quality of the environment; 5 - Decrease in the production potential as a consequence of deteriorating living standards

The production process and human life are inevitably associated with the formation of harmful waste entering the environment and changing its properties, which leads to a deterioration in human living conditions.

The idea of ​​a quantitative assessment of damage is that, knowing the volumes of emissions V, calculate all the losses caused by these emissions. In other words, it is necessary to calculate the monetary valuation of damage U as the sum of losses arising in different spheres of activity due to deterioration of the quality of the natural environment:

Although the idea of ​​damage assessment is very simple, its practical implementation causes considerable difficulties. As a basis for measuring damage, the following scheme of cause and effect relationships is taken: emissions of harmful impurities - their concentration in the environment - natural damage - economic damage.

Knowing the concentration of harmful impurities, we can estimate their natural impact on the environment, which can be expressed through:

1) deterioration in the quality of life (morbidity, mortality, deterioration of recreational conditions, etc.);

2) reduction in the service life of property - fixed assets, etc.

3) an increase in the concentration of harmful impurities in the components of the biosphere as technological media;

4) reduction in crop yields in agriculture and a slowdown in biomass growth in forestry.

On the basis of empirical data, functional dependences between concentrations of harmful impurities and changes in natural indicators are constructed. The next step is to estimate the natural changes in monetary meters.

The damage U is estimated by the formula


where - the natural change of the i -th factor; - a monetary estimate of the i -th factor; - characteristic of the magnitude of loss -

kok, caused by natural changes i -th factor

Such a simple scheme for determining damage in an ideological sense involves great difficulties when it comes to its practical implementation, which requires detailed information on changes in the technical characteristics of the environment. Therefore, special attention deserves a technique based on a simplified procedure, which reduces to a calculation using a single formula


where - a monetary estimate of the unit of emissions; σ is a coefficient that takes into account regional peculiarities of the territory exposed to harmful effects; - the coefficient of bringing different impurities to the "mono-pollutant" (characterizes the amount of carbon monoxide equivalent to the effect on the environment of one ton of the substance, conditions); - the volume of the release of the i-th pollutant.

The calculation sequence by formula (3.2) is as follows. Since the effects of impurities on the environment and the person are different (you can not add 5 tons of lead directly and 3 tons of nitrogen oxide), first all the harmful impurities are led to the "mono pollutant" through the weight coefficients Ai, indicate how many times one polluter is more dangerous than another. After multiplying the volume indicators Ki by the weighting coefficients Ai, their products are added. As a result, a conditional mass of emissions is obtained; a conditional "mono pollutant", characterizing the general level of environmental pollution.

Then this mass of emissions is multiplied by the coefficient σ, taking into account the assimilation characteristics of a certain region. In northern regions, where the ability of the environment to absorb harmful impurities is low, the coefficient σ is higher than in the southern regions, where these possibilities are greater. We also take into account ecological systems (forests, agricultural lands, recreational zones, etc.) located on the contaminated territory that are not equal in value and in response to impurities,

Due to the wide variety of ecological systems and the uniqueness of each of them, it is not possible to take into account all the factors influencing the damage, therefore the value of the coefficient σ is indicated for a predetermined list of territories, separately for the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.

To assess the damage from air emissions, for example, the resorts, sanatoriums, nature reserves are given the highest ratio, and the pastures and areas under hayfields are the smallest. For water resources, the coefficient σ is given for river basins; for large water bodies, several values ​​of the coefficient σ are given (for example, for the upper and lower currents of the river).

The coefficient A i, characterizing the relative risk of harmful emissions, is calculated on the basis of a comparative analysis of the harmful effects of certain pollutants.

The coefficient U is used to measure the monetary estimate of the given emissions and is used at the last stage of damage calculation. These values ​​are subject to frequent adjustments, since they must reflect all changes taking place in the economy.

The methodology for assessing damage from environmental pollution has both the supporters and opponents. Its unconditional advantage is the simplicity of calculations. However, it is also a disadvantage at the same time - the results of calculations are not too precise and do not take into account the ultimate damage (non-linearity of the damage function). At present, the method is quite widespread and is widely used for practical calculations.

thematic pictures

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