Voluntary approaches in climate policy
Quandt, Alexandra ;  Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik

Main titleVoluntary approaches in climate policy
Subtitlecomparing European and Swiss transport legislation
AuthorQuandt, Alexandra
InstitutionFreie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik
No. of Pages20 S.
Classification (DDC)320 Political science
AbstractThis paper investigates the effectiveness of voluntary approaches in a comparative case study on
European and Swiss climate legislation. Voluntary approaches are known to be less environmentally
effective and economic efficient than other climate policy instruments but easier to implement and more
acceptable for the business community. Voluntary approaches are preferred for approaching ‘new policy
issues’ where more stringent policies and measures could hardly be implemented. However, they are
known to dilute or postpone effective legislation. Moreover, voluntary agreements may impose a
potential threat on competition due to the high level of collaboration of its signatories. This case study
compares the voluntary accords signed by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)
and the Association of Swiss car importers (ASIA) signed in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Whereas ACEA
committed to decrease average CO2 emissions from new passenger to 140g/km, ASIA committed to
reduce average fuel consumption to 6.4l/100km by 2008. Both agreements failed. Average emissions of
new cars in Europe was still greater than 150g CO2/km, and average fuel consumption of newly imported
cars to Switzerland was 7.1l/100km in this year. Our case study discusses the reasons for failure and
assesses the effectiveness of voluntary agreements as climate policy instrument. Based on expert
interviews with Swiss car importers and Swiss and German car experts, the achievements of the
voluntary accords signed in Switzerland and the EU are compared. In Europe, stringent legislation had
been postponed several times particularly due to political pressure of German premium car brands. In
Switzerland, the majority of the interviewed firm representatives shows only low awareness of the
motivation and purpose of the agreement and different understanding of responsibility.
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FU DepartmentProceedings of the Berlin Conferences on   Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Year of publication2010
Type of documentConferencepresentation
Terms of use/Rights Nutzungsbedingungen
Authors commentsF2: Mixing Modes of Governance
Created at2010-11-11 : 04:10:01
Last changed2015-02-27 : 08:25:45
Static URLhttp://edocs.fu-berlin.de/docs/receive/FUDOCS_document_000000007000