Application of the Forgotten Effects Theory for Assessing the Public Policy on Air Pollution of the Commune of Valdivia, Chile

Environmental public policy is challenged by its complexity and uncertainty as manifested in Wicked Problems. Incentives were considered to encourage behavioural change in the public policy on air pollution in Valdivia, Chile. However, air pollution is still increasing due to extensive usage of firewood. This research aims to assess the policy within the identified incentives and behaviours by applying the Forgotten Effects theory. Empirical evidence of Forgotten Effects in the policy is provided by using data from key informant interviews. A major finding of the research is that a subsidy on transportation has no effect on reducing air pollution in residential areas. It also suggests that if people improve thermal insulation of their houses in the commune of Valdivia may contribute to a major reduction of air pollution rather than improving the quality of firewood. Education, Research and Development may also play an important role to encourage behavioural change. The latter will also contribute to the improvement of overall energy efficiency and thereby lower emissions.

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