The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France

The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France

The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France

The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France

Synopsis

Drawing on an extensive range of political, legal and sociological materials, the author presents and evaluates environmental policy-making in France at a time when environmental problems are growing in complexity and gravity.

He highlights the range of inputs to the policy process ¢e" including popular movements, green parties, interest group representation, EU legislation and international treaties ¢e" and evaluates the diverse nature of the outcomes which lead him to conclude that because new developments involve not only changes in policy content but also adaptation of policy style, environmental demands are progressively changing the shape of politics itself.

Excerpt

apart from significant and positive cuts in ozone-depleting substances,
progress in reducing other pressures on the state of the environment has
remained largely insufficient
.

European Environment Agency (1999: 7)

real progress has been made, but the general view among the public and
policy makers is that progress has been considerably slower than envisaged
or hoped

IFEN, 1998a: 10

Recent reports on the state of the environment at national and international levels make disconcerting reading. Considerable gains have been made in terms of reduced pollution and increased energy efficiency. Yet performance gains delivered by technological progress have been eroded by absolute increases in demand for energy and materials arising from economic growth. Does this mean that environmental policy has ‘failed’? Rather than jump to this conclusion, one premise of this book is that environmental policy making is subject to conflicting pressures. On the one hand, world demographic trends and social inequalities push for an agenda of economic expansion. On the other hand, environmental problems arising both at input stages (resources are neither limitless nor free) and output stages

‘Les progrès sont donc réels mais le sentiment général, dans la population comme chez les responsables, est qu’ils sont sensiblement plus lents que ce qui était prévu ou souhaité.’

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