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Ambio. Nov 2011; 40(7): 798–806.
Published online Jun 2, 2011. doi:  10.1007/s13280-011-0156-2
PMCID: PMC3357750
Paying for International Environmental Public Goods
Rodrigo Arriagadacorresponding author1 and Charles Perrings2
1Department of Agricultural Economics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna, 4860 Macul, Santiago, Chile
2ecoSERVICES Group, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501 USA
Rodrigo Arriagada, rarriagadac/at/
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Received December 21, 2010; Revised April 20, 2011; Accepted April 29, 2011.
Supply of international environmental public goods must meet certain conditions to be socially efficient, and several reasons explain why they are currently undersupplied. Diagnosis of the public goods failure associated with particular ecosystem services is critical to the development of the appropriate international response. There are two categories of international environmental public goods that are most likely to be undersupplied. One has an additive supply technology and the other has a weakest link supply technology. The degree to which the collective response should be targeted depends on the importance of supply from any one country. In principle, the solution for the undersupply lies in payments designed to compensate local providers for the additional costs they incur in meeting global demand. Targeted support may take the form of direct investment in supply (the Global Environment Facility model) or of payments for the benefits of supply (the Payments for Ecosystem Services model).
Keywords: International environmental public goods, Ecosystem services, Payments for ecosystem services, Global environmental public
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