National Government Interventions in a Global Arena
Edited by Frank Wijen, Kees Zoeteman, Jan Pieters and Paul van Seters
Chapter 11: Environmental Federalism in the European Union and the United States
David Vogel, Michael Toffel, Diahanna Post, and Nazli Uludere Aragon SUMMARY The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) are federal systems in which the responsibility for environmental policy-making is divided or shared between the central government and the (member) states. The attribution of decision-making power has important policy implications. This chapter compares the role of central and local authorities in the US and the EU in formulating environmental regulations in three areas: automotive emissions for health-related (criteria) pollutants, packaging waste, and global climate change. Automotive emissions are relatively centralised in both political systems. In the cases of packaging waste and global climate change, regulatory policy-making is shared in the EU, but is primarily the responsibility of local governments in the US. Thus, in some important areas, regulatory policy-making is more centralised in the EU. The most important role that local governments play in the regulatory process is to help diffuse stringent local standards through more centralised regulations, a dynamic which has recently become more important in the EU than in the US. INTRODUCTION In the EU and the US, responsibility for the making of environmental policy is divided between EU and federal institutions, on the one hand, and local institutions, on the other. The former are comprised of the EU and the US federal government, while the latter consist of state and local governments in the US, and member states and subnational authorities in the EU.1 Historically, environmental rules and regulations were primarily 321 M2782 - WIJEN TEXT.indd...
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