A Further Economic Analysis of Environmental Tort Law in Brazil and its Incentives

Paulo Franco (Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DIREITO RIO))
Antonio Maristrello Porto (Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV Direito Rio))
Rômulo Sampaio (Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV Direito Rio))


Everyone desires an ecologically balanced and healthy environment, a "greener, safer, and better" world, but does the law have any relevance in achieving these goals? Assuming the answer is affirmative, has the law effectively fulfilled its role in guiding behaviors and incentives toward sustainable economic development? The aim of this paper is to investigate how the protection of the environment and sustainable growth can be achieved through the law and, more specifically, what we refer to as the regulatory role of tort law in environmental matters. Our hypothesis is that the legal concept of civil liability (particularly, environmental civil liability), when well-structured and integrated into the legal framework, has the potential to generate appropriate incentives. This can encourage potential environmental harm-causers to allocate their investments towards precautionary measures, thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental damage. After all, a higher level of precaution reduces the probability of environmental harm, which is socially desirable.

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