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What is Command and Control?

How do Command and Control policies deal with climate change?
Command and Control is one of the many approaches used in public policy. It comprises of rules and legislation imposed by governments, and is often backed up by the threat of coercion, fines or state penalties.

Such regulations may either be ‘negative’, sanctioning some form of behavior, such as pollution, or may be ‘positive’, mandating certain actions, such as installing clean air filters.

Command-and-control regulation has a long history, and is said to be heavily featured in the USA. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was created to oversee all environmental laws. In the same year, the Clean Air Act was enacted to address air pollution. Just two years later, in 1972, Congress passed and the president signed the far-reaching Clean Water Act. These command-and-control environmental laws, and their amendments and updates, is said to have contributed to a cleaner natural environment in the USA.

In the UK, command and control regulations have also been used, covering areas such as pollution, wildlife conservation, resource conservation and climate change. Significantly, the 2008 Climate Change Act. It had set out emissions targets to fulfill and was at the time the first global legally binding climate change mitigation target set by a country. The Act committed the UK to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

Recently, the UK now aims to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

© Adam Smith Centre
This article is from the free online

Climate Change and Public Policy

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