Environmental Policy: Governing by Multiple Policy Instruments?*

Andrew Jordan, David Benson, Rüdiger Wurzel and Anthony Zito

in Constructing a Policy-Making State?

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199604104
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741531 | DOI:
Environmental Policy: Governing by Multiple Policy Instruments?*

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The European Union’s (EU) role in determining the overall goals and targets of environmental policy is widely understood. In contrast, the choices that underlie the patterns of policy instrument use have not been subjected to nearly as much analysis, even though the ability to select instruments constitutes the very essence of governing. This chapter explores what the (non) use of certain instruments in one important sub-area of policy (i.e. climate change) reveals about the EU’s capacity to function as a policy state. It confirms that the EU’s role is stronger in relation to the determination of objectives than the instruments to achieve them. If one is looking for examples of policy makers ‘governing by multiple instruments’ one should focus on national policy systems. There are conditions in which the EU is willing to actively explore and even adopt non-regulatory instruments, but they seem to appear relatively episodically. For various reasons, regulation seems very likely to remain the instrument of choice in EU environmental policy.

Keywords: environment; policy instruments; climate change; regulation

Chapter.  8849 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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