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Environmental Federalism in the European Union and the United States

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Author Info

  • David J. Vogel

    ()
    (Haas School of Business)

  • Michael W. Toffel

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Technology and Operations Management Unit)

  • Diahanna Post

    ()

  • Nazli Z. Uludere Aragon

    ()

Abstract

The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) are federal systems in which the responsibility for environmental policy-making is divided or shared between the central government and the (member) states. The attribution of decision-making power has important policy implications. This chapter compares the role of central and local authorities in the US and the EU in formulating environmental regulations in three areas: automotive emissions for health related (criteria) pollutants, packaging waste, and global climate change. Automotive emissions are relatively centralised in both political systems. In the cases of packaging waste and global climate change, regulatory policy-making is shared in the EU, but is primarily the responsibility of local governments in the US. Thus, in some important areas, regulatory policy-making is more centralised in the EU. The most important role local governments play in the regulatory process is to help diffuse stringent local standards through more centralised regulations, a dynamic which has become recently become more important in the EU than in the US.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 10-085.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-085

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Cited by:
  1. CĂ©line Gainet, 2010. "Exploring the Impact of Legal Systems and Financial Structure on Corporate Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 195-222, September.
  2. Kruger, Joseph, 2005. "From SO2 to Greenhouse Gases: Trends and Events Shaping Future Emissions Trading Programs in the United States," Discussion Papers dp-05-20, Resources For the Future.

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