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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the distribution of powers in environmental policy, with emphasis on vertical—rather than horizontal—division of powers. The goal is to identify prominent model approaches and important differences in power distribution, as well as the pros and cons, and to derive lessons for future governance reforms. The chapter begins with an analysis of the distribution of powers in multilevel environmental governance, taking into account the distinction between federal and unitary systems; the role of administrative regulation and of executive competences; fiscal, taxing, and spending competences; and the role of local community governments and self-governing bodies. The most relevant normative concepts of vertical power distribution are then examined, with a particular focus on how centralization or decentralization of government powers is motivated or could be motivated. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the ‘telic’ approach of cooperative steering for functional distribution of powers.

Keywords: comparative environmental law, governments, distribution of powers, environmental competences, decentralization, federalism

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