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Kenneth R Richards

Abstract Environmental offsets are systems linked to core regulatory programmes, designed to lower the overall costs of compliance by allowing non-covered entities or sources to  reduce environmental damage in exchange for leniency in the core programme. Offset provisions have been added to programmes in a broad range of environmental applications, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and generation, habitat protection, air pollution prevention, greenhouse gas emissions, and water quality and quantity. The purpose of offset programmes is to reduce the economic costs of environmental protection, while not compromising the environmental integrity  of the core programme. Developers of offset programmes must address many design elements, including identifying a reference case, permanence, units of measure, leakage, the basis for equivalency, monitoring and measuring, trading ratios, and timing of rewards. The design process entails a challenging balance between minimising transactions costs and maintaining environmental integrity. This chapter provides an overview of the range of environmental offset applications, the basic elements of offset design, and provides a comment on measures to achieve balance in the design process.
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Nicolas de Sadeleer

Abstract The harmonisation process of environmental rules within the European Union (EU) has been fraught with controversies since the inception of EU environmental policy. When it comes to deciding which ecosystems and species to protect, which hazardous products to control or to ban, which factories to authorise, the thresholds for reuse and recycling waste, EU institutions and the 28 Member States have crossed swords. The depth of the harmonisation process depends to a great extent on the type of act – binding or non-binding, directly or non-directly applicable – the EU institutions are likely to adopt. It is the aim of this chapter to explore some of the key issues arising in the harmonisation process of environmental rules in light of the features of the different EU acts (directive, regulation, decision, recommendation, communication, etc.).
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Janet E Milne

Abstract Environmental taxes offer an important market-based approach to environmental protection. They place a price on pollution that can effectively shape behaviour. This chapter describes how environmental taxes occupy a unique place among environmental policy instruments by operating at the intersection of environmental law and tax law. It introduces readers to the theories that underlie environmental taxes and the fundamental features of environmental taxes that are common to environmental taxes around the globe. Drawing on examples of existing environmental taxes, the chapter explores how policymakers have translated theory into practice to address an array of environmental challenges, including climate change. Looking forward, it evaluates the potential for environmental taxes and, in particular, their strengths and challenges as environmental policy instruments.
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Edited by Michael Faure

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Daniel H Cole

Abstract Economists and policy analysts have long recognised the compliance cost advantages of economic instruments, such as effluent taxes and cap-and-trade, over traditional forms of regulation, including technology-based performance standards. So why do those traditional forms of regulation – generically known as ‘command-and-control’ – persist and even continue to dominate in environmental regulation? Various explanations are plausible, based on path dependency, public choice, or social welfare. As this chapter demonstrates, however, none of those explanations, alone, is sufficient for understanding the persistence of command-and-control. Rather, they each comprise a part of a larger, more complex explanation.
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Edited by Michael Faure

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Edited by Michael Faure

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Edited by Michael Faure

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Josephine van Zeben

Abstract Governments are environmental actors, both as regulators and as contributors to environmental impacts. In both capacities, governmental action tends to be regulated by, and based on, different legal bases as compared to private action. Since governments are capable of acting in ways that individuals cannot (for instance through the exercise of police power), governmental action is held to different standards and has to take place within specific mandated parameters. However, as the distinguishing differences between public and private actors and actions are becoming less pronounced, we may need to reconsider the existing restraints on public and private actors and actions.
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Edited by Michael Faure