Title: Voluntary Agreements in the Field of Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction: Review and Analysis of Experiences in the European Union
Citation: ENERGY POLICY vol. Vol 39 no. 11 p. 7121–7129
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC68109
ISSN: 0301-4215
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421511006276
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.08.030
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A number of Member States of the EU have introduced voluntary agreements (VAs) that aim to deliver energy savings and emission reductions via increased energy efficiency in different end-use sectors, mainly targeting industry. Where there is a successful track record of cooperation between public authorities and the private sector, VAs can offer advantages to public authorities in comparison to legislation, most importantly better flexibility when introduced or updated, greater acceptance by industry, possibility for tailormade solutions e.g. at the level of industrial sectors and opportunity to overcome the information asymmetry between public authorities and private actors. Nevertheless, VAs have been criticized for lack of specific obligations and lenient targets, as well as for deficiencies in compliance monitoring and self-reporting and difficulty in establishing the policy additionality of VA activity. This paper analyses the design of existing VAs in terms of general framework, targets and sectors, obligations and commitments, motivation to join, reporting and monitoring provisions, and results of existing VAs as reported by national authorities. The paper summarizes the key characteristics of voluntary agreements and gives recommendations for the successful application of this policy tool.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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