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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article is about the instruments that have been adopted by various governments to implement the decided policy on climate change. This article surveys the theoretical literature on instruments, identifying and unpacking key terms, and it sets out two ways to theorize and thus explains observed patterns of instrument selection ‘in practice’, the first based on actor behaviour and the second on the mediating effect of institutions. It also investigates instrument choices in one important governing context, namely the EU, which comprises twenty-seven Member States and hosts the world's largest single market. The analysis in this article mainly focuses on instrument selection and adoption practices rather than performance. It also focuses on the instruments associated with mitigating climate change rather than adapting to its unfolding impacts. Finally, this article draws together the main arguments and identifies future challenges in this rapidly developing area of climate change research and policy.

Keywords: policy instruments, policy instrument perspective, policy instrument analysts, actor behaviour, instrument choices

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