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Environmental Tools Guide

Environmental tools are mechanisms to meet environmental objectives and outcomes. Environmental tools provide the means to an end. They are designed to encourage environmentally desirable behavior.

This tools guide is designed to introduce and help in the choice of the most appropriate tool (s) to achieve specific environmental outcome(s) in Alberta.

Introduction to the Five Kinds of Tools

This guide offers five kinds of environmental tools:

  • Cooperative agreements
  • Information disclosure
  • Market-based instruments and fiscal
  • Regulations
  • Voluntary stewardship/corporate environmental responsibility

In the real world, we use the best tool to meet the multiple goals of a given situation. Each tool has its strengths and limitations. An ideal tool would

  • promote a cleaner environment
  • be cost-effective, absolutely fair, equitable and capable of meeting rapid change in science and technology

Alberta Environment and Parks' (AEP) role is to

  • develop and implement these tools
  • verify compliance
  • track environmental performance commitments
  • monitor and evaluate environmental quality

Where required, the department will also enforce environmental law in the province, including sanctions, monetary fees and charges.

Need more information on the five environmental tools? See:

Contact Us

Questions about this guide? Email Stephen Dobson


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Updated: May 29, 2015