1887

OECD Environment Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.

English

Environmental Enforcement in Decentralised Governance Systems

Toward a Nationwide Level Playing Field

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.

English

Keywords: environmental enforcement, environmental authorities, decentralised governance, compliance assurance
JEL: Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy; O57: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Comparative Studies of Countries; 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 and Auditing / Accounting and Auditing: Government Policy and Regulation; K32: Law and Economics / Other Substantive Areas of Law / Environmental, Energy, Health, and Safety Law
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