A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Policy Integration
Edited by Alessandra Goria, Alessandra Sgobbi and Ingmar von Homeyer
Chapter 5: Sustainability and Environmental Policy Integration: Local Level Sustainability through Knowledge Involvement and New Governance Arrangements
Georgios Terizakis 5.1 INTRODUCTION: FROM EPI TO GOVERNANCE SUSTAINABILITY Environmental policy in general and Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) in particular has become a relevant theme for the policy makers and academic community of Europe over the last 20 years and remains so.1 This upswing is related to various phenomena. For one thing we observe an increasingly undisputed diagnosis of environmental damage as anthropogenic, that is in the case of climate change. The ‘natural causes’ scientific diagnosis was long part of the controversial debate and instrumentalised by sceptics to reject any kind of nature protection policies. These attitudes are changing due to increasing expert and scientific knowledge on climate change. For another, we come to the insight that we can manage this kind of problem only if we give environmental policy an adequate weight in daily politics. Symbolic solutions seem to have been marginalised and more substantial reforms have joined the agenda. One part of this new agenda is EPI. But EPI is not a given concept or daily experience, and therefore multiple interpretations and implementations of this concept have arisen over recent years. Nevertheless there are only few systematic studies that compare EPI experience at different levels and in different countries (see Lafferty and Hovden, 2003; Sgobbi, 2007). Another important debate in this context is the sustainability issue. The rise of this concept is a real success story despite its being vague and contested. But this semantic openness can also be an advantage: it increases the freedom of action and...
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