Design, Experiences and Issues
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Mikael S. Andersen, Birgitte E. Olsen, Stefan Speck, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 12: Climate change law and policymaking: the utility of the Delphi method
A balanced law or policymaking process requires an effective policy assessment approach. However, processes of political decision-making are frequently not rationally based. Many commentators agree that policymaking is strongly influenced by politics and that the choice of available policy options is limited by institutional dependencies and political factors. In achieving their own goals, participants in the policymaking process may have different sets of preferences influencing policy evaluation. These different preferences will inhibit collaboration aimed at ascertaining the most suitable policy option overall. Nonetheless, the principles of rational discussion and balanced problem solving can be employed in policymaking processes. The history of the evaluation of environmental policy is rather short and the concepts are fragmented, but the interest in evaluations in this field is growing rapidly in many countries. The need for policy evaluation is not only emphasized within environmental research but also policymakers and administrators are more frequently articulating the necessity for environmental policy evaluations. Evaluation of climate change related policies is also recognized as an important stage of policymaking but there are not many examples of climate policy evaluations. A climate change policy evaluation procedure needs to consider many crucial factors. For example, economics tends to treat economic efficiency as a pivotal concept, while environmental science focuses on pollution, and none of the disciplines combine all concerns. Accordingly, an efficient and effective policy might still be defective if, for instance, it dangerously compromises equity.
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