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Environmental Enforcement in Decentralised Governance Systems: Toward a Nationwide Level Playing Field

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  • Eugene Mazur

    (OECD)

Abstract

This report analyses approaches to managing environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement in several OECD countries with decentralised systems of environmental governance. It focuses principally on strategies and instruments for promoting consistency in the implementation of national environmental law. The report reviews in detail the experience of Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States and draws on examples from several other countries. Three programmatic elements of environmental enforcement are key to ensuring its consistency: the targeting of compliance monitoring; the selection of an enforcement instrument and the timeliness of noncompliance response; and the size of monetary penalties for non-compliance. Accurate and complete information on the performance of sub-national and local competent authorities is an important prerequisite for the evaluation of nationwide consistency of enforcement. To address these issues, OECD countries employ a range of mechanisms of institutional interaction: “vertical” (between different administrative levels) as well as “horizontal” (between competent authorities at the same level). The report presents multiple examples of the application of each mechanism in different decentralised systems. It analyses these good practices and suggests several ways to use them to ensure consistency in the implementation of the main elements of enforcement programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugene Mazur, 2011. "Environmental Enforcement in Decentralised Governance Systems: Toward a Nationwide Level Playing Field," OECD Environment Working Papers 34, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:34-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kgb1m60qtq6-en
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. William R. Cline, 1992. "Economics of Global Warming, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 39.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    compliance assurance; decentralised governance; environmental authorities; environmental enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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