New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Albert Breton, Giorgio Brosio, Silvana Dalmazzone and Giovanna Garrone
Chapter 13: The Danish Communes: Capacities and Constraints in Environmental Management
Mikael Skou Andersen No ‘Invisible Hand’ can be relied on to produce a good arrangement of the whole from a combination of separate treatment of the parts. It is, therefore, necessary that an authority of wider reach should intervene and should tackle the collective problems of beauty, of air and of light, as those other collective problems of gas and water have been solved. (Pigou, 1932: 195) 1. INTRODUCTION Local authorities still play a signiﬁcant role in the implementation of national environmental policies when looking at the situation in terms of local environmental administrative tasks and resources. Basic services with regard to pollution control (wastewater treatment, waste management, nature protection) administered locally in the majority of EU countries account for 80–90 per cent of total public expenditure directed at environmental policy. Eﬀorts to integrate environmental policy into other policy sectors have, moreover, led to further local authority involvement. For example, the restructuring of EU agricultural policy has been increasingly based on local area planning and has, thereby, been placed within the realm of local and regional authorities. Having acknowledged this fundamental role, a tendency in favour of new types of management instruments exploiting channels other than those of local authorities is to be observed over the past decade. These comprise market-based instruments, such as environmental taxes, voluntary agreements, producer responsibility schemes, environmental certiﬁcation, environmental auditing and environmental impact assessment (EIA). These new management instruments have been criticised for pushing genuine local environmental administration into the background....
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