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Voluntary Agreements for CO₂ Emissions Reduction: Evaluation and Perspectives

Croci, Edoardo
carbon dioxide, environmental policy, greenhouse gas emissions, models, Europe
Over the last 10 years voluntary agreements have been adopted in Europe as an environmental policy instrument to reduce CO₂ emissions. These agreements have been used in accordance with the specific economic, institutional and cultural features of the Member States. The evaluation of the cases of CO₂ emission reduction does not, however, provide a definitive answer regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of these agreements. This is due to a number of reasons such as the absence of reference scenarios and the fact that the targets set are often too easy to reach. Nevertheless it is possible to determine some “rules” to design, negotiate, implement and monitor voluntary agreements according to effectiveness, efficiency and equity criteria. Moreover a European model for voluntary agreements at the Community level and a new generation of voluntary agreements are being developed in order to overcome some of the drawbacks of the past agreements.