Regional analysis: Differences in emission-intensity due to differences in economic structure or environmental efficiency?

Maarten van Rossum, Marije van de Grift


The economy is a complex system with many aspects having different interrelated dimensions. Many of these different aspects of the economy may have consequences for the quality of water. Therefore a clear but complex link exists between the economy and the quality of water. This relationship is currently an important issue in estimating the costs of implementing the Water Framework Directive. There are many mechanisms by which the Water Framework Directive affects water quality and the economy. The Water Framework Directive sets water quality targets at river basin level. This is partly explained by the fact that water pollution is very much a local environmental problem. Between river basins large differences in emissions to water and economic activity exist. As a result, the emission-intensity, here defined as the ratio between emissions and value added, differs between river basins. This paper tries to give an answer to why there are differences in emission-intensity between river basins in The Netherlands. In doing so, we will focus on differences in economic structure and environmental efficiency.


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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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