Intergovernmental relations and policy innovation comparing canada the us and the eu
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Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Innovation: Comparing Canada, the US, and the EU. Kathryn Harrison University of British Columbia. Is Federalism “good” or “bad” for climate policy innovation?. Good news in EU Shifting leadership among member states Burden sharing

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Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Innovation: Comparing Canada, the US, and the EU

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Intergovernmental relations and policy innovation comparing canada the us and the eu

Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Innovation: Comparing Canada, the US, and the EU

Kathryn Harrison

University of British Columbia


Is federalism good or bad for climate policy innovation

Is Federalism “good” or “bad” for climate policy innovation?

  • Good news in EU

    • Shifting leadership among member states

    • Burden sharing

    • “best of both worlds”

  • Good news in US

    • Despite fed inaction, states taking matters into own hands


Is federalism good or bad for climate policy

Is Federalism “good” or “bad” for climate policy?

  • Good news and bad news in Canada:

    • Fed-prov stalemate for almost 20 years

    • Recent dynamic of provincial innovation and diffusion

  • Why the difference?

    • Constitutional authority

    • Magnitude and distribution of costs

    • Public opinion as switch

  • Does it matter?

    • Impact on climate policy


Canada

Canada

  • Background:

    • Relative decentralizaton

      • Provinces own both sources and sinks

      • Fed authority largely untested

    • Uneven distribution of costs!


Intergovernmental relations and policy innovation comparing canada the us and the eu

Canada

  • Background:

    • Relative decentralizaton

      • Provinces own both sources and sinks

      • Fed authority still largely untested

    • Uneven distribution of costs

    • Cyclical public attention


What happened

What happened?

  • Pre-2006

    • Fed-prov: “joint decision trap”

    • Prov-prov: “stuck at the bottom”

      • Rabe: policy capacity, “show us the money”

  • Post-2006

    • Fed-prov: feds increasingly irrelevant

    • Prov-prov: innovation and diffusion

      • BC leading

  • Policy outputs:

    • Fed level: lots of promises and plans, still no regulations

    • Provincial level: C&T in AB, C tax in BC, commitments to WCI


Intergovernmental relations and policy innovation comparing canada the us and the eu

US

  • Background:

    • Relative centralization

      • Interstate commerce power, conditional grants

        • “everything airborne, from frisbees to flatulence”

    • Big states are relatively green!

      • “The California Effect”

        • Wealthy

        • Green

        • Special authority under Clean Air Act

    • Public inattention, even after 2006

      • Variation at state level?


What happened1

What happened?

  • Fed-state: feds mostly irrelevant

    • Some fed obstruction on tailpipe standards

    • State lawsuits against EPA

  • State-state: innovation and diffusion

    • Led by NY, CA

  • Policy outputs:

    • At fed level: $ and voluntary

    • At state level:

      • renewable portfolio stds

      • RGGI, WCI

      • Not all states joining the parade


Eu tiberghien and schreurs

EU (Tiberghien and Schreurs)

  • Background:

    • Relative centralization:

      • qualified majority (though not for taxes)

      • Environment as unifying issue for EC

    • Greater public concern, esp in key member states

    • Big players had BAU windfalls!

      • Germany + UK account for >100% of EU reductions

      • Without Germany and UK, per capita increases in rest of EU 15 comparable to Canada, Australia (8%, 1990-2004)

    • EU had easier target rel to BAU:

      • -3 to -9% vs. -29% for Canada, -31% for US


What happened2

What happened?

  • State-state dynamic:

    • Early leaders held to commitments

    • Shifting leadership

  • EU-state dynamic:

    • Burden-sharing

    • Reinforcement of leaders by EP and EC

    • Oversight by EC

  • Policy Outputs:

    • C taxes

    • ETS


Intergovernmental dynamics

Intergovernmental dynamics

  • Depends on fed constitutional authority

    • No expectation of consensus in EU (or US)

  • Depends on distribution of costs

    • “Big players” were green and keen in US, EU, but not in Canada

  • Depends on public opinion

    • Like switch in Canada (also several EU member states), but has it turned off again?


Policy outputs

Policy Outputs

  • Federalism has facilitated stronger EU policy, partially filled void in US and (more recently) Canada, but still obstructive force in Canada

  • It’s not all about federalism:

    • Concentration of authority in legislative institutions

      • Veto points can be activated by opponents (US)

      • Ability for leaders to pursue normative commitments (UK, Canada, BC vs. US)

    • Electoral systems:

      • PR reinforces (and perhaps amplifies?) electoral pressure, esp when majority of voters inattentive

    • Lock-in effects

    • Electoral incentives

      • window opened and closed without federal action?


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