European Environment

Published by John Wiley and Sons
Online ISSN: 1099-0976
Print ISSN: 0961-0405
We model EU-type carbon emissions control in a group of countries to explore the distributional incidence of mixed policies that consist of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) and of emissions taxes overlapping with the ETS. Such policies impact on national welfares through both the overlapping taxes and the distribution of national emissions caps. Our main proposition is an equivalence result stating that for every mixed policy, there exists an ETS policy without overlapping taxes yielding the same levels of national welfare as the mixed policy. We also suggest two measures of the net distributional incidence of mixed policies.
This paper studies the Swedish prohibition of the hazardous solvent Trichloroethylene (TCE). Sweden is alone in completely prohibiting its use. The ban has been at best a partial success and illustrates the dilemmas of policymaking. Use has declined but not stopped, largely because the decision to ban TCE was challenged in the courts. Recently, the EU Court of Justice decided in favor of Sweden’s right to have a ban. This article analyzes abatement cost data to show that the cost of replacing TCE is low for most plants, although there appear to be a few firms for which it may be quite high. A crosscountry comparison indicates that the Swedish ban was less effective than the very strict technical requirements in Germany or the tax used in Norway. A tax (or deposit refund scheme) would be a good mechanism to achieve a swift phaseout.
Without participation of the United States, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, mitigation of global climate change seems hardly conceivable. Despite the U.S. rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and the reluctance of the Bush administration to engage in Post-Kyoto negotiations, recent developments suggest that the U.S. position towards climate policy might change in the medium run. This study provides an overview on current trends in U.S. climate policy. Besides the main elements of national climate policy proposals and state-level initiatives the climate contents in the U.S. presidential candidates’ agendas are outlined. Based on this overview recent trends in U.S. climate policy are related to the European approach to combat climate change. Furthermore, we elaborate on the aspects which may be important for Europe to design its own domestic and international climate policy in order to achieve the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations.
This article examines how far the EU has succeded in producing a secular convergence of the content, structure and style of national environmental policies. Using fresh empirical evidence collected from ten national environmental policies, it presents a very mixed pattern of change, with some elements of national policy converging more rapidly (and through different causal pathways) than others. These findings are viewed through the lens of popular theories of structural convergence, integration and Europeanisation respectively, to reach a fuller understanding of the pathways and outcomes of any policy convergence in an enlarging EU.
Quality labels are not new, but the last decade saw labeling schemes to be increasingly targeted at expert qualities – i.e. qualities involving a high degree of scientific expertise in order to be assessed. The paper takes a close look at the regulatory and institutional framework underlying the development of one of these labels: the EU ecolabeling program (CEE, 1992). In order to better understand the conditions for the development of product ecolabels, we examine a success story, the case of the paints and varnishes European Ecolabel and contrast it the result with case of industrial opposition (detergent industry). The comparison pints at the importance of the negotiation phase in the development of product ecolabels. It also suggests that the degree of technological heterogeneity of the concerned industry - i.e. the extent to which the environmental performance of the products sold by the different firms are different - may be a variable determining the chances of success in the development of an ecolabel. The conclusion examines the lessons that can be drawn for the development of environmentally effective product ecolabels. It proposes tracks for further research on the subject.
German wind power development is a technological success story but has involved very high subsidies. Germany was a latecomer in wind power but specific political conditions in the late 1980s and early 1990s allowed the implementation of the feed in tariff regime which has characterised Germany ever since. The wind lobby managed to constitute itself at an early stage and to develop stable alliances with farmers and regional policymakers. The concentration of the wind industry in structurally weak regions reinforced these links. With an increased visibility of the subsidies and saturation of onshore sites in the early 2000s, the lobby has been less successful in retaining support. The current attempt to develop offshore projects may suffer from less favourable interest constellations.
Since the early 1990s, national ecolabelling programmes have proliferated worldwide. The European Union (EU) implemented such a regional program in 1991. This decision was part of a broader orientation towards Integrated Product Policy approach in the EU. Since 1991, the development of European ecolabels has been slow and difficult. This paper examines industrial strategies vis-à-vis the EU ecolabel in order to understand the problems faced by the regulator in the development of this ecolabel. The first part of the paper defines and uses the concept of credence good in order to argue that the consumer cannot assess the ecolabel. Based on the examination of the development of the European ecolabel, the second part points out three variables that seem to influence the development of product eco-labels : i) the type of industry (i.e. the degree of heterogeneity between the sets of products sold by the different firms); ii) the threat of direct governmental regulation on the environmental quality of the product; and, iii) the magnitude of the final demand for a green variant of the product. The paper concludes with a discussion of on policy implications for policy makers interested in considering or promoting the use of ecolabels.
Next year the European Commission will release its Fifth Environmental Action Plan, which will set out its plans for environmental policy over the next five years. In an all embracing speech to the European Environment Conference, Philip Ryan of DG XI proposes that it is time for the EC's environmental policy to move into a new gear, suggesting that this will involve a fundamental reappraisal of socio-economic activity and the application of a significantly broader range of instruments. Against the background of deepening concern for the environment and natural resources, and the realisation of the negative economic effects of environmental degradation, it is now clear that environmentally sound industry is no longer a matter of luxury but rather a matter of necessity.
Recent developments in Irish environmental policy have paved the way for the establishment of an environmental agency to monitor environmental quality and enforce regulations. Irish proposals for an agency for integrated pollution monitoring and control are very much in keeping with current EC thinking as outlined in the Fifth Environmental Action Programme and by the proposed European Environment Agency. P J Geraghty examines the new Irish legislation and outlines some of the reactions that it has drawn.
An examination of employment change based upon an exploratory classification of Northern Ireland's environmental industry is undertaken. Results show that, in 1993, some 12 900 persons or around 2.1% of the total civilian employment in the region were working in a ‘green production sector’. By using a range of data sources it is suggested that significant opportunities for employment expansion currently exist. Indeed, a total of between 4000 and 6000 new environmental jobs could be created in Northern Ireland by the year 2003. Most of the growth is anticipated in the traditional areas of recycling and re-use, pollution treatment and control and energy conservation. In a small and peripheral European economy these figures have important implications for the development of the local labour market. To this end, a series of recommendations is put forward that could help Northern Ireland maximize the employment potentials offered by these types of environmental activity. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
The conservation of natural areas gives rise to costs that are borne both by the inhabitants of the area affected and by government, and to benefits that are enjoyed not only by locals but also by the existing and future population as a whole. The appraisal of such costs and the identification of the agents who bear them provides a useful tool for efficient decision-making, to support funding demands made on other levels of government, at both national and international level, and for the adoption of measures to compensate agents for rights. This paper describes a methodology for the calculation of such costs and presents the results obtained from its application in three areas forming part of the Natura 2000 network in Spain. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Sustainable development is conceptualized in this paper as a serious challenge for governance structures and processes in nation states. Global and European agreements have placed the inclusion of civil society actors in policy-making at the heart of the sustainability agenda. This commitment is particularly evident in the Commission's White Paper on Governance and the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. From this perspective, the European Commission has consistently underlined the integral role of dialogue with social partners in any sustainability agenda. In contrast, there is a clear mismatch between these principles of civil society inclusion and policy-making in France. Long-standing traditions of meso-corporatism have struggled to adapt to extending participation to civil society actors. This paper assesses the implementation of sustainable development as civil society inclusion with reference to the French experience in dealing with EU biodiversity policy. It is argued that this governance challenge has effectively presented nation states with an ‘interpretation dilemma’ with regards to sustainable development. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Discussion over post-2012 climate policy is now entering a crucial phase. Despite the potential great risks of prolonged global warming, the success of an international climate stabilization agreement hinges to a great extent on its economic feasibility. This article makes precise the assumptions that underpin current mainstream estimates of the costs of controlling climate change and provides quantitative estimates of cost differentials under different scenarios. In particular, the article analyses the role of three utmost factors in the economic cost of a climate treaty: energy technology development; the participation rate of developing countries; and the timing of global action. We show that all three factors have a major impact on policy macroeconomic costs. Addressing them effectively is therefore indispensable in ensuring the feasibility of any international agreement to control global warming. Therefore, we propose a series of policy recommendations that can help addressing the issues of technology, timing and participation, and that represent key policy implications for a post-2012 climate policy. (JEL codes: C72, H23, Q25, Q28)
Any effective future climate policy regime based on the Kyoto Protocol requires the determination of the concrete contribution regarding time and quantity for each party. Based on the two justice principles, responsibility and equity of rights, that form the basis for the so-called Brazilian Proposal and Contraction and Convergence respectively, a new approach is developed: future emission rights are allocated on the basis of equal emissions per capita over time. By so doing not only are emissions per capita (EPC) taken into account during the allocation but also their evolution over time. This may result in negative quantities of emission rights for some parties due to their historical ‘burden’. On the other hand, parties with low EPC would be allocated large amounts of ‘fair air’. Even though this approach may currently lack political support by powerful parties, it offers another analytical reference point for the political bargaining process on future allocations. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Local Agenda 21 (LA21) is committed to two types of goal: procedural goals substantiated primarily in the requirement to encourage greater participation in local decision making and substantive goals predominantly attached to the call for a sustainable development. In this article, we report on the LA21 processes of two communities, Helsingborg, Sweden, and Vienna, Austria. We analyse what kind of normative tension the two communities have experienced by concurrently striving for democracy and sustainability. We also discuss what impact the two LA21 processes have on local governance structures and what potentials for more fundamental system changes they hold. Our analysis shows that the challenge of actually reconciling possibly conflicting goals is far from easy. In Helsingborg, the apparent harmony of goals has been achieved partly by falling back on political rhetoric, partly by interpreting the two goals in a narrow way, i.e. sustainability policy has been reduced to environmental issues and citizen participation has been equated with ‘paternalistic’ consultation. The Viennese LA21 process has managed to implement the two goals in a more comprehensive way, but this has come at the cost of being marginalized by the central political actors. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
The article analyses implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC in four member states (Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom) and the compliance responses made to the national policies in which the directive is implemented. National policy features heavily influenced compliance choices and the implementation of the directive, as did the characteristics of the water works that were in place. In Germany the directive accelerated improvement programmes but did not really alter them. In Spain it contributed to changes in the organizational structure and to the development of improvement programmes. In England and Wales it led to an alteration of compliance choices and national policies. In the Netherlands it did not have an impact for the simple reason that it did not require a revision in the wastewater treatment programmes. The article describes compliance choices and appraises them. We discovered several suboptimalities such as the building of expensive, capital-intensive sewage treatment plants, the poor functioning of plants, and the singular focus on wastewater treatment (which were related to civil engineering preferences and national and EU funding arrangements). We also found that possibilities for flexibility in the directive were not well utilized, due to the poor mechanism of information exchange and absence of requirements to weigh the costs against benefits. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment
The implementation of the Packaging Directive in Greece will undoubtedly run into a variety of problems in all areas. The structural changes needed in the present system of solid waste management are extensive and there are many barriers to overcome in the areas of central, regional and local government, technology and investment, and environmental awareness and cultural attitudes. The benefits from the effective and efficient implementation of the Directive can be far-reaching, however, and have been necessary for some time. The Directive offers an opportunity for setting into motion #96>;green#39>; forces for the benefit not only of the natural environment, but also for the socio-economic development of deprived regions in the country. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment.
A market experiment was designed to empirically investigate the potential effectiveness of a governmental subsidy system to reduce sales and therefore production of environmentally harmful products. The important issue of whether the subsidy system preserves competitiveness was also examined. In the experiment two levels of a subsidy for unsold units were compared with no subsidy. To simulate the way in which subsidy levels may vary across time in real markets, the effects of high and low uncertainty regarding the subsidy level were also investigated. The results showed that subsidies, whether known and fixed or uncertain and varying, did not erode competition but nevertheless led to higher prices, which resulted in fewer sales. In the control condition a price war resulting in decreasing prices and increasing sales were observed. Several ways in which the proposed subsidy system may be implemented in the transport sector and other sectors are discussed. It is suggested that subsidies may make the adjustment process toward sustainable production less costly for the regulated parties. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
To achieve significant reductions in European acidification emissions, side-payments to less affluent countries are not only desirable, but also probably necessary. An Acidification Fund to support reductions to which the richer European countries donate and from which the less affluent ones receive money is one of the possibilities. Simple rules based on GDP, GDP per capita and abatement costs in each country are proposed to determine contributions to and receipts from such a fund. Within this paper, potential payments to and receipts from the fund are calculated for the reduction scenario used as a reference in the negotiations for the new sulphur protocol which is to be signed in May of this year. The paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of such a fund, the role of institutions governing the payments and receipts, and the obligations of the countries who may receive payments.
The study investigates determinants of attitudes towards environmental policy measures among decision makers in private companies responsible for large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Acceptance of climate change policy measures was investigated using a questionnaire sent to a sample of decision makers in the private sector addressed as private citizens. The results showed that acceptance could be predicted by environmental values mediated by personal norms. The results are in line with earlier findings on public support for environmental policy measures. The motives for acceptance differed however from previous findings concerning decision makers in their professional role. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Although progressive government guidelines and knowledge about sustainable housing exist, progress in implementing them in practice has been slow. The perceived costs and the lack of market demand have been identified as the main barriers. A choice of fiscal instruments is essential in sustainable housing policies. This article presents an analysis of economic measures currently used to support sustainable housing in the EU and the accession countries, indicating the areas where policy instruments are either focused or lacking. Based on the country progress reports of the Third European Ministers Conference on Sustainable Housing in Belgium in 2002, the results indicate that environmental taxes and subsidies are used in the EU and the accession countries, but that they have had a low impact on the housing sector. An examination of the developments since 1996 shows that apart from energy initiatives resulting from the Kyoto Protocol, the lack of a strong driving force has kept progress slow. Conclusions are based on the analysis findings – the low impact of taxation on housing, the lack of environmental criteria in the reduced VAT rate and the narrow focus of subsidies. This article argues that enlargement of the EU presents opportunities for sustainable housing in Europe, if the fiscal instruments are enforced by legal means. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Changes in ranking of EU member and acceding countries between 1992 and 1996, based on availability of environmental protection infrastructure
The prospect of EU enlargement to include the countries of Central and Eastern Europe faces a range of difficult obstacles. In the field of the environment, not only must legislation be adopted at the national level by countries seeking membership but appropriate institutions and enforcement mechanisms must also be established. This paper considers current conditions in Hungary. It reports the results of a recent assessment of the extent to which Hungary complies with the conditions on the environment needed to ensure its accession to the EU. Given that there is still some way to go before these conditions are met, it also reviews the various approaches through which harmonization with EU policy requirements might take place. It concludes that as a minimum Hungary must match the standards of environmental protection currently applied by the southern member states of the EU. It also concludes that at present it seems that there is not a realistic chance of a much more ambitious environmental programme being introduced because of the prevailing socio-economic climate. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment
Strict environmental liability, in conjunction with improved environmental liability insurance, proves to be an effective instrument to tackle environmental risks of industrial installations. This paper examines the experience with the Environmental Liability Act and Environmental Liability Insurance in Germany. It rebuts the widespread criticism of the preventive effect of the Act and considers the actual changes in the number of environmental accidents in Germany. The picture that emerges from this study is that the Act seems to have a measurable preventive effect from 1993 onwards, the year in which the new environmental liability policy was introduced. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
This paper examines the challenges faced in governing accidental industrial emissions. Accidental emissions are unexpected situations where harmful runaway emissions are released into the environment, causing damage to people, ecosystems, human property and company images. We claim that in Finland the practices of environmental authorities do not encourage companies to prevent accidental emissions in the most effective way. According to our study, based on action research and case study augmented with document analysis and interviews, authorities operate under three different kinds of frame: an environmental permit frame, a risk prevention frame and a major accident prevention frame. Accidental industrial emissions are, in our view, best governed under the risk prevention frame, where practices and management systems are addressed covering the entire complex socio-technical nature of an industrial process. However, environmental authorities, in Finland, focus on environmental permit frames, stressing limit values, hence concentrating on managing the industrial process component by component. This approach may be suitable for the governing of continuous emissions, but not that of accidental emissions. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
In March 2001, President G.W. Bush announced that the United States had abandoned the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. This paper describes the historical background as well as the political reasons and mechanisms behind the Bush administration's decision. Moreover, it deals with two alternative policy proposals, which have emerged at the US federal and the state level since then. The paper then highlights some important differences between EU and US climate change policies. The most important difference is that the EU wants global warming mitigation and the US, if necessary at all, is emphasizing the need to adapt to climate change. The paper concludes by suggesting that if a post-Kyoto treaty wants to bring the US back on board it will need to address this difference. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Primary themes of WSSD partnerships (source: United Nations, Partnerships for Sustainable Development. [29 November 2005]). 
The role of transnational partnerships in contemporary global environmental discourse raises larger questions of the legitimacy, effectiveness and accountability of networked governance. This article advances a conceptual framework for evaluating the legitimacy of partnership networks. Furthermore, it examines, in particular, the multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development announced at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002. Partnership networks have been branded as a new form of global governance with the potential to bridge multilateral norms and local action by drawing on a diverse number of actors in civil society, government and business. Does the rise of global partnerships imply a re-location and diffusion of authority from government to public–private ‘implementation networks’? Recent evaluations of the Johannesburg partnerships suggest that they can gain from a clearer linkage to existing institutions and multilateral agreements, measurable targets and timetables, more effective leadership, improved accountability, systematic review, reporting and monitoring mechanisms. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
One issue faced by those using social cost–benefit analysis to make decisions on forestation is how to account for environmental externalities. This paper compares two different valuation techniques, contingent valuation and choice modelling. Both approaches were applied to an afforestation programme in the northeast of Spain, and were found to yield similar estimates of welfare change when the utility function was fully specified. However, when elements of the utility function were omitted, significant differences were detected in the welfare estimates derived from the two techniques. Choice modelling is the method recommended for use in policy evaluation contexts, such as cost–benefit analysis applications, because of the additional valuation information it provides. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
As a result of theoretical concerns about the use of GDP as the main policy indicator, and the implications this may have for the achievement of other policy goals, the UN proposed a system of integrated environmental and economic accounting (SEEA). Part of their guidelines recommends the collection of data regarding environmental protection expenditure (EPE). Both EUROSTAT and the OECD have designed and implemented methodologies with the aim of producing EPE accounts for international comparison. While much effort has been employed in examining and refining the design and implementation, to date little has been said regarding the policy relevance of such accounts. We have applied the Eurostat and OECD methodologies to produce the first ever EPE dataset for Ireland. This work involved a detailed examination of both public and private sector environmental expenditure and estimated that EPE in Ireland was equal to just under 1% of GDP in 1998. We conclude that the main policy relevance lies in the assessment of the potential for industries involved in the supply and operation of environmental abatement services in Ireland. To the extent that expenditure can be disaggregated to sectoral level in those sectors exposed to international competition, it can also inform a discussion about the relation between environmental compliance costs and sectoral competitiveness. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment.
In a review of the problems which accountants face in trying to integrate environmental considerations into their well defined procedures, Brendan Quirke argues for the establishment of an Auditor-General for the environment and the redefinition of accounting concepts and methodology.
This paper considers the accuracy of regulatory cost estimates using the London congestion charging scheme as a case study. In common with other regulations, ex ante estimates of the direct costs of the scheme were produced by the regulator, Transport for London. Reviews of a number of environmental and industrial regulations have shown that ex ante costs tend to exceed the ex post (or outturn) costs. This study finds that while Transport for London moderately overestimated the total costs of the scheme (by 16%) there was a significant overestimate of chargepayer compliance costs (by 64%). The main reasons for this were greater than expected reductions in traffic and unanticipated technological innovation. As the compliance cost is essentially the cost of transacting payment of the charge, these results have wider implications for other similar regulations. One example is the proposed national road user charging in the UK, where it could reasonably be expected that the ex post cost of compliance will again be lower than the ex ante estimate, and that compliance costs will continue to reduce over time. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
The Habitats Directive is a key document for the protection of critical natural capital in the European Union. In a manner consistent with the understanding of sustainability in the European Commission, even critical natural capital is subject to trade-offs in favour of economic and social development. This is reflected in Articles 6(3) and 6(4) of the directive. This paper analyses the planning process leading to the approval of the expansion of the port of Rotterdam project – which will significantly affect Natura 2000 – against sustainability criteria. Although it shows that the directive is powerful to promote sustainable planning, the success of the case study was due mainly to elements specific to the particular planning process, namely the use of deliberative public participation mechanisms as well as specific assessment tools. Lessons are drawn and recommendations made to strengthen the Habitats Directive and the national planning processes in relation to projects potentially affecting Natura 2000 sites. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
National strategies for sustainable development are gaining increasing recognition as an instrument to reconcile needs of development and environmental protection by improving policy-making procedures. The paper assesses the Slovak sustainable development strategy in the context of two key documents, the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Slovak Republic (MESR, 2001a) and the Action Plan for Sustainable Development of the Slovak Republic for 2005–2010 (OGSR, 2005). Focus is mainly placed on horizontal policy integration, but institutional arrangements and mechanisms for implementation, monitoring and review, stakeholder participation and vertical integration are also assessed. Based on the results of a series of interviews with ministerial planners and utilizing the example of the Working Group for Environmental Education, the paper identifies barriers to horizontal policy integration. The main conclusion is that improvement of mechanisms for horizontal policy integration is offset by recession in other areas, including public participation. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
The Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) was adopted to address the issue of water pollution caused by nitrate derived from agricultural practices across the European Union (EU). This study evaluates the implementation of the Nitrates Directive by considering the perspectives of respondents from significant actor groups involved in the policy implementation process in Denmark and England. Structured field interviews were conducted and discovered that Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) designation in England was a lengthy and inefficient process compared with that in Denmark. Generally, respondents from both countries considered that whole country designation was a more effective policy instrument than designation of discrete zones. Denmark's Action Programme measures reflected the severity of its water quality problems and go beyond the demands of the Nitrates Directive. The respondents recognized that Denmark's strict measures have led to a reduction in nitrate leaching and a decline in nitrate concentrations in streams from cultivated catchments. England's current Action Programme measures do not demand any substantial changes to farming practice and so have limited potential to reduce nitrate losses. This study concludes that a number of vague and ill prepared guidelines within the Nitrates Directive undermine its ability to protect water quality adequately, and hence current implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is an opportunity to re-shape water policy in relation to nitrate. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Governments around the world are responding to the environmental problems caused by energy production by promoting wind power and other renewable forms of energy. Country specific political and ideological issues affect the choice of policy instruments. For example, although Finland and Sweden are already part of the same Nordic electricity market, they use different renewable energy policy instruments. The views about suitable policy instruments also vary within the Finnish energy sector. This paper is based on analysis of interviews with 25 energy sector actors that affect wind power policy in Finland. They used a number of process-oriented and value-based criteria to evaluate policies. Emphasis on deregulated market conditions was found to be strong, and to limit methods that are considered appropriate for supporting wind power. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Is the application of the EU environmentally policy satisfying in the field? In particular, are the environmental objectives set in the directives met? This paper explores the issue of the effectiveness of the European environmental policy. It is based on the results of a recent study, which has consisted in evaluating the implementation of three pieces of EU environmental legislation in France, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom. The legislation studied was Directive 89/429 regulating atmospheric emissions from domestic waste incinerators, Directive 88/609 dealing with SO2 and NOx emissions from large combustion plants (LCPs) and Council Regulation 1836/93 concerning the voluntary participation of industrial companies in an EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The result of the study suggests that simply posing the problem in terms of ‘implementation deficit’ is not sufficient. In fact, over-compliance with directive goals is even observed in certain cases. By contrast, the evaluation suggests the prevalence of interactions between the considered implementation process and other parallel policy processes at the implementation stage. The study shows that this interplay between policies has a huge impact on implementation environmental results, which can be either positive or negative. Based on this statement, an important question for EU policy is how implementation can efficiently cope with such interactions, which means finding ways to maximize potential synergies, or alternatively to reduce inconsistencies, with the other policy components. Given that policy interactions are difficult to predict at the policy formulation stage of the policy, adjustments necessarily occur at the implementation stage. In this context, implementing EU environmental policy requires policy systems able to adjust at low costs. In this paper, this property is called adaptability and is given a precise content. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment
In the United Kingdom, political and governmental attention is being paid to the growing evidence that shows that the poorest people live in the worst quality environments. This paper will describe the development of work within the Environment Agency over the past three years to help understand such environmental inequalities, and how these can be addressed through UK policy for sustainable development. This paper will examine the following key areas of this work.iHow have we used the research process to understand environmental inequalities and develop evidence based policy?iiWhat progress have we made in shaping the Environment Agency's role, and ensuring that its environmental policies do not contribute to further environmental inequalities?iiiHow have we worked to ensure that environmental inequalities are addressed through wider government sustainable development policy?It concludes by exploring how research and policy development to address environmental inequalities requires integration across at least three fields of practice: different types of evidence; research and policy; and environment and social policy for sustainable development. © Crown copyright 2005. Reproduced with the permission of Her Majesty's Stationary Office. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
In the brief transition to a market economy, Poland has experienced rapid growth in the number of private automobiles that has contributed to increasing mobile source emissions and urban congestion. Current projections indicate that the number of vehicles per capita will be comparable to many countries in Western Europe by 2010. Poland has recently adopted a number of measures to address simultaneously mobile source pollution and harmonise with the environmental directives of the European Union. Key measures adopted to date include reductions in the lead content of leaded fuels, incentives for greater use of unleaded fuel, reductions in sulphur content of fuels and requirements for catalytic converters to begin in 1995. Additional measures such as higher fuel and vehicle taxes and policies to limit vehicle access in city centres will be needed in the next decade.
This paper discusses the greening of the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV). As the national procurer of defence materials, FMV respondents categorized their organization as lagging behind business organizations. Greening was, hence, perceived as a process particularly influenced by an industry-driven institutionalization of greening and environmental policy-making. Building on the tensions in greening a defence organization and, to some extent, in copycatting an industry approach, the paper discusses the force of industry as policy-maker. In the conclusions, based on the case analysis, opportunities and threats in future environmental policy-making are addressed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
In introducing integrated pollution control licensing, regulators hope to achieve economic advantages as well as environmental benefits. The licensing is used as a vehicle for encouraging firms to adopt cleaner technology, potentially allowing firms to achieve economic advantages through process efficiencies and reduced environmental control costs. In Ireland, the regulatory approach has been to require firms to make managerial changes in the belief that this is a necessary precursor to the take-up of new technology. This paper examines how the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector has responded to environmental regulations that require cleaner technology adoption and managerial changes. Quantitative indicators are developed using data reported to the Irish Environmental Protection Agency. Analysis shows that firms were differentially able to implement both cleaner technology and the mandated managerial processes. The implications for policy are that regulatory instruments designed to stimulate cleaner technology may not be sufficient to promote change in firms, given that the influence of these instruments is mediated by the role of firm-specific, experience-based organizational capabilities. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
In recent years, renewable energy – and in particular wind power – has come to the fore of both international and UK national environmental policy debates. In addition to helping to meet its Kyoto obligations, the British Government has indicated its desire for a much larger slice of the international wind energy market, and has consequently developed a national strategy to stimulate a more vibrant UK wind energy industry. With this in mind, the British Government's Climate Change Programme (DETR, 2000) and more recent Energy White Paper (DTI, 2003) outline the UK energy strategy for the coming two decades, with wind power featuring as a core component. This article critically considers the prospects for the development of a wind energy industry in the UK and introduces five strategic opportunities and five strategic barriers in this evolving segment of the energy market. The article concludes with recommendations to enhance public acceptance of wind energy and four important areas for future research are outlined. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
The four policy agendas of desertification in Southern Europe Source: authors  
This paper explores the link between agricultural, environmental and structural policies and desertification in Southern Europe. The focus is on the way policy goals evolve in the implementation process and become translated into actions at the operative level. The results derive from policy stakeholder interviews from four research areas situated in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The significance of policies as drivers of desertification varies between the case study areas, and harmful land management practices often result from power imbalances between interest groups involved in land-use planning and policy implementation rather than from flaws in the policies themselves. The vagueness of the definition of what ‘desertification’ constitutes allows for different interpretations of its nature, significance and the consequent weight it is given in land management decision-making, thus lending itself to be both misinterpreted and misappropriated by different stakeholder interests. The paper discusses the interplay between five different discourses of desertification and four distinct agendas of policy implementation and land use. The agendas either enhance or mitigate desertification and represent the interests of actors who have acquired a powerful position in the network of stakeholders, often relying on, and simultaneously maintaining, discourses and structures that lend them first right to decision-making over the natural resources of the locality. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
This paper analyses specific aspects of the implementation of the second multi-annual agreement for energy efficiency concluded in the Netherlands with various industrial sectors for the period 2002–2010. The agreement is a follow-up on a previous negotiated agreement that was generally seen as successful. This successor aims at stretching the limits of feasible and reasonably cost-effective improvements in energy efficiency. In order to achieve this, so-called ‘expansion themes’ were included that typically urge communication and tuning between companies as they exceed the level of individual companies: sustainable products, sustainable industrial estates, sustainable transport and logistics and sustainable energy. While the potential benefits are very promising, the first years of implementation mostly taught lessons on the difficulties that have to be overcome in order to achieve these. This paper will discuss the emerging obstacles and positive experiences with the implementation of the expansion theme measures. Special attention will be given to the role of the ‘consultation groups’, which supervise the implementation of the sector agreements and consist of representatives of the relevant industry sector organization, government and an advisory agency. This follow-up consultation after the agreement is concluded to play an important role in stimulating integration issues such as the coherence of the energy efficiency measures in the sector, the tuning with other environmental and energy policies of government and the mutual trust between the partners. The paper is based on the official evaluation of this negotiated agreement by the authors, which was commissioned by the Dutch ministry for economic affairs. The results are not only informative on this particular negotiated agreement, but also provide lessons on the integration and communication aspects of this policy strategy in general. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Recent political and corporate initiatives indicate that voluntary agreements and emission trading will play a crucial role in climate policy. We show that when emission trading is integrated as an option in voluntary agreement contracts, the overall efficiency of the use of flexible climate policy instruments is strongly increased. The emission trading option, formalized as a CO2 allowance call option contract that can be traded, provides clear incentives to overcomply with the target of the voluntary agreement. The option mechanism also delivers a market price for eventual non-compliance, based on differences in abatement costs. With an example, we illustrate that the option mechanism can result in stimulating financial benefits for the firms that are most successful in reducing emissions. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Nature conservation policy in European countries is increasingly determined by the requirements of a wide range of international agreements. The most important are two EU directives (the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive) and four conventions (the Ramsar Convention, the Bern Convention, the Bonn Convention and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity). The main foci of these instruments are habitats and species that are of international importance or require international cooperation to secure their effective conservation. Despite the importance of these habitats and species, implementation of the instruments has been uneven. The Netherlands provides a interesting example of implementation issues. The legislation necessary to enable the government to legally designate areas that have to be protected under the Birds Directive was only adopted in 1998, 17 years after the deadline fixed by the directive. This legislation has enabled the government to nominate areas for designation under the Birds and Habitats Directive. However, not all the sites that fall under the criteria of the Directives have been included in the list, and the legislation does not include the required provision concerning compensation for areas that are protected under the Habitats Directive and then damaged by activities that are authorized in the public interest. In the case of the Ramsar Convention, the government is planning to increase the number of designated sites, but the total number of sites will still represent inadequately the types of wetland of international importance that are found in the Netherlands. Despite this uneven implementation, the instruments – particularly the EU Directives – are having far-reaching effects on nature conservation in Europe. The most important consequences are that ecological considerations are the sole and absolute criteria for determining whether a site should be protected under the EU Directives and that many areas that until now only enjoyed limited protection under the spatial planning system now have to be legally protected from virtually all forms of damage. However, in practice many development plans take only limited account of the biodiversity conservation requirements implied by international conventions. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment
This paper presents the main features of the Dutch covenant approach regarding the control of industrial emissions. The covenants are agreements between central government, licencing authorities and particular sectors of industry. The agreements provide for detailed arrangements regarding the implementation of sector specific medium and longer term emission reduction targets. Companies are expected to draw up medium term company environmental plans which after approval by the authorities will serve as a basis for formal licencing procedures. Central government and licencing authorities will take appropriate measures to ensure a co-ordinated approach in licencing and to avoid as much as possible distortions in competitive relations. Implementation of the covenants is being monitored and evaluated by Sectoral Consultative Committees that will issue annual progress reports to the Minister of the Environment.
This paper analyses whether different emission trading regimes provide different incentives to participate in a cooperative climate agreement. Different incentive structures are discussed for those countries, namely the US, Russia and China, that are most important in the climate negotiation process. Our analysis confirms the conjecture that, by appropriately designing the emission trading regime, it is possible to enhance the incentives to participate in a climate agreement. Therefore, participation and optimal policy should be jointly analysed. Moreover, our results show that the US, Russia and China have different most preferred climate coalitions and therefore adopt conflicting negotiation strategies. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
A considerable number of indicators are already in use for the assessment of the agricultural sector's environmental performance as well as for the evaluation of agri-environmental policies.Given the existing difficulties in testing such indicators, we have used for this purpose – with fairly good results – the documentation (at the farm level) of two environmentally friendly policy schemes, on organic agriculture and on integrated management, for assessment of the set of agri-environmental indicators, described in two relevant communications from the Commission.Indicators describing pressures and state of the environment susceptible to estimation differ significantly from one scheme to another. However, available documentation, if complemented, makes plausible an environmental diagnosis of farms as well as monitoring and evaluation of environmental performance of these schemes. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
When Finland joined the EU in 1995, agri-environmental policy changed significantly, in terms of both content and style. As a result of the policy process, substantial changes took place in institutional structures and in policy instruments. The most remarkable change, however, was that co-operation between environmental and agricultural administration began. This co-operation has become ever more important, especially regarding future challenges of implementing the EU Water Framework Directive. This paper examines the development of Finnish agri-environmental policy in the Advocacy Coalition Framework by concentrating on three separate, but interconnected, policy formation processes, namely the Finnish Agri-Environmental Programme, the Nitrates Directive and the recent Water Framework Directive. By concentrating on these policy processes it was possible to analyse the evolution of the policy subsystem over time, to examine the changes in policy belief systems, then to analyse the elements that either enable or prohibit co-operation and finally to assess the role of policy learning in the process. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Top-cited authors
Maria Kaika
  • University of Amsterdam
Gernot Klepper
  • Kiel Institute for the World Economy
Sonja Peterson
  • Kiel Institute for the World Economy
Jens Newig
  • Leuphana University Lüneburg
Klaus Rennings
  • ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research