Systematic Review: Environmental Policy
This research synthesizes the evidence on building effective environmental policy and provides frameworks for policy makers and practitioners.
Pressing environmental challenges face business leaders and policy-makers alike. As the challenges of climate change become more apparent, the need for careful assessment of what policies work in what circumstances is ever more important.
In conducting this study "When do Climate Policies Work? A Systematic Review of Experiences from Low-Carbon Technology Promotion and Water Management"
, commissioned by the Network for Business Sustainability, the authors sought to shed light on questions about the impacts, processes, cost considerations and accountability implications of different policy instruments.
With advice from the NBS Leadership Council
, this systematic review was constructed with three objectives:
- To understand the direct effects of policy instruments that target environmental problems and how these policies interact.
- To understand how and whether characteristics of environmental problems influence the effectiveness of policy instruments.
- To understand the possible trade-offs between cost-effectiveness, solving the environmental problems and government accountability.
Building on these three objectives, the report is guided by the following questions:
- How effective are different policy instruments in achieving environmental objectives?
- How cost-effective are these instruments for governments, regulated parties and society?
- What accountability implications do different instruments have for government?
Our report is a synthesis of more than 204 applied and academic studies. It gives the most comprehensive and credible evidence to date on building effective environmental policy, and provides an environmental policy framework that outlines the key areas to be considered in the development of any policy. Lastly, it features a step-by-step decision tree to help policy makers select the most appropriate instrument for any issue at hand.
This report is designed to:
- Guide and advise decision-makers in government and industry develop and advise on environmental policy.
- Help policy-makers working on environmental issues understand the range of policy instruments available to them and when each is most effective.
- Provide suggestions for businesses on how they can constructively feed into the process at various stages.