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Neil Gunningham

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Neil Gunningham

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Neil Gunningham

This article examines whether large-scale grassroots activism might be a necessary condition for achieving transformational climate change action, and examines whether Extinction Rebellion (XR), which has had a remarkable impact in a very short time, might - unlike its predecessors - be capable of precipitating such change. Reviewing the evidence, the article suggests that such activism, even if necessary, is unlikely to be sufficient to bring about rapid and radical climate action. It might, however, prove to be an important change agent, through its contribution to a broader coalition of business and civil society actors or through harnessing ‘webs of influence’. How such a coalition might evolve, or web influence play out, is also explored.

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Neil Gunningham

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Neil Gunningham

This article examines whether large-scale grassroots activism might be a necessary condition for achieving transformational climate change action, and examines whether Extinction Rebellion (XR), which has had a remarkable impact in a very short time, might – unlike its predecessors – be capable of precipitating such change. Reviewing the evidence, the article suggests that such activism, even if necessary, is unlikely to be sufficient to bring about rapid and radical climate action. It might, however, prove to be an important change agent, through its contribution to a broader coalition of business and civil society actors or through harnessing ‘webs of influence’. How such a coalition might evolve, or web influence play out, is also explored.

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Neil Gunningham

Abstract This chapter examines the roles of compliance and deterrence strategies of environmental enforcement, arguing that neither is likely to be successful except in particular circumstances. It goes on to suggest that better results will be achieved by developing more sophisticated strategies which employ a judicious blend of persuasion and coercion, with the mix being adjusted to the particular circumstances and motivations of the entity that regulators are dealing with. This is the enterprise of ‘responsive regulation’, upon which a further strategy, ‘smart regulation’, builds. Under the latter, public agencies may harness institutions and resources residing outside the public sector (in conjunction with a broader range of complementary policy instruments) to further policy objectives. While there are no ‘magic bullets’ and no single approach that will function effectively and efficiently in relation to all types of enterprises and all circumstances, some approaches are considerably better than others, and there is much to be learnt from each of the regulatory models described above.
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Neil Gunningham and Darren Sinclair

Abstract Smart Regulation embraces complementary combinations of environmental instruments tailored to specific policy circumstances. It seeks to build on the concept of an enforcement pyramid, that is at the core of responsive regulation, by engaging government as well as business and other third parties in the regulatory process. As such, it canvasses a range of environmental instruments, including information, self-regulation, co-regulation, economic instruments, as well as command and control regulation. The use and application of various instrument combinations and regulatory actors are governed by a set of regulatory design principles that can adapt to different environmental imperatives and circumstances, and aim to provide for better regulatory outcomes. In this regard, complementary combinations of instruments are key. The principles of Smart Regulation are pertinent today where governments confront complex environmental issues, and yet appear unable or unwilling to produce adequate regulatory responses.
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Neil Gunningham and Darren Sinclair

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Darren Sinclair and Neil Gunningham