The options of local authorities for addressing climate change and energy efficiency through environmental regulation of companies

Kasper Dirckinck-Holmfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental regulation of companies is sometimes in the literature characterised as a successive broadening of focus and policy instruments: from applying command-and-control mechanism to get companies to clean and/or dilute local pollutants through end-of-pipe solutions; towards applying various means to influence and facilitate companies to act proactively in preventing pollution through cleaner production, waste prevention and resource efficiency.

This understanding is contested in this article. The article documents instead a gap in respect to the local authorities actual execution of the direct regulation of companies in Denmark. The practise of the local competent authorities is found to primarily still target local environmental concerns by command-and-control means.

The objective of the article is to analyse this discrepancy between the overall representation of regulatory trends and the actual practises of local authorities in Denmark. The overall constraints that local authorities encounter are investigated in respect to: 1) Addressing energy efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions through juridical requirements in permits and injunctions, and 2) Facilitating and promoting reductions of energy consumption and GHG emissions during inspections.

The assessment is based on the triangulation of different data: a) qualitative interviews with environmental officers from seven local authorities taking part in a EU life+ project, Carbon 20; b) a documentary review of political documents and evaluations of the Danish regulations; as well as c) an interview and subsequent correspondence with an employee at the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume98
Pages (from-to)175-184
ISSN0959-6526
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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