Skip to main content

New instruments for sustainability. The new contribution of voluntary agreements to environmental policy

Objective

To identify and evaluate the contribution of voluntary agreements to environmental policy and law and to the development of practical options for the transition towards sustainability; to assess the strengths and weaknesses of this new instrument of environmental policy and the conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to implement different types of voluntary agreements efficiently.

OBJECTIVES:
To identify and evaluate the contribution of voluntary agreements to environmental policy and law and to the development of practical options for the transition towards sustainability; to assess the strengths and weaknesses of this new instrument of environmental policy and the conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to implement different types of voluntary agreements efficiently.

DESCRIPTION:
The project starts with the hypothesis that voluntary agreements can lead - under certain conditions- to a higher level of environmental protection than more traditional regulatory instruments. The hypothesis is also made that the participation of all social partners (private enterprises, government administrations as well as citizens and NGOs) is essential for the long term success of voluntary agreements and that such agreements can also be more cost effective than other environmental protection instruments. The research is intended to test if - and under which conditions - these hypotheses are valid.
The research assesses two types of voluntary agreements - government/industry agreements (also called "covenants") and operator/neighbourhood agreements - through the application of four evaluation criteria: environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, social acceptability and public participation. The project analyses the current state of formulation and implementation of voluntary agreements through case studies in selected countries (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, United Kingdom) as well as in Poland and the USA. Practical problems are identified through case studies. The possibility of including voluntary agreements among the instruments provided for in the EU legal framework is analysed. The results of the project are intended to provide support to the key actors in environmental protection - EU institutions, governments, enterprises and the citizens - for the improvement of the design and implementation of voluntary agreements.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Öko-Institut eV
Address
Bunsenstraße 14
64293 Darmstadt
Germany

Participants (3)

FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND DEVELOPMENT
United Kingdom
Address
Russell Square 52-53
WC1B 4HP London
Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis
Belgium
Address
43,Boulevard Du Jardin Botanique
1000 Bruxelles
Stichting Natuur en Milieu
Netherlands
Address
17,Donkerstraat
3511 KB Utrecht