Should Middle-Income Countries Implement Environmental Policies?

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This chapter analyzes the reasons for middle-income countries to enforce environmental policies and not leaving them for later development stages. It puts into question the premise that low- and middle-income countries should grow first and clean up later. Furthermore, it explains several possible co-benefits for middle-income countries of implementing environmental policies and how the application of international environmental policies and agreements influences them. These potential gains provide strong arguments to enforce environmental policies and facilitate a green transformation in middle-income countries. There are, however, several problems and challenges that may make this transformation difficult. The implementation of environmental policies should be tailored to the economic and institutional context of each country and accompanied by measures allowing an adequate achievement of economic, social, and environmental goals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrapped in the Middle?: Developmental Challenges for Middle-Income Countries
EditorsJosé Antonio Alonso, José Antonio Ocampo
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780198852773
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2020


  • environmental policies
  • green transformation
  • international agreements
  • market and government failures
  • middle-income countries


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