Environment in emerging and transition economies

Policy Mixes: Packages of environmental policy instruments


Goals and Objectives

EAP Task Force promotes the use of "packages" of environmental policy instruments or "policy mixes". This is an approach that involves developing, through a systematic stakeholder process, a coherent mix of policy tools that exploits synergies for achieving environmental policy objectives in a cost-effective manner and avoids policy conflicts.

The objective of this work is to assist individual countries in analysing existing policy instruments and their effectiveness and designing appropriate packages of policy instruments to solve selected, acute priority environmental problem(s) in the air and water sectors. The activities address the design and implementation deficiencies of the regulatory framework as well as poor economic incentive functions and their relations with the administrative instruments. The proposed policy package include concrete regulatory proposals for creating a coherent and effective mix of:

The mix should also include education and information based, and any other, instruments which may be effective in resolving the particular problem.


The process of transition to democracy and a market economy has ushered in far-reaching changes in the economic, social, and political spheres in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). Comprehensive regulatory reform, including environmental regulatory reform, has been initiated and the countries in the region now face the challenge of completing it. The achievements of reform include the creation of a comprehensive legislative framework for environmental protection and the introduction of market oriented and democratic principles into legislation throughout EECCA.

Many past attempts to reform environmental policies and institutional framework (including those supported by donors) have suffered from either technical or procedural bias. Some developed reports full of (sometimes detailed) policy recommendations and left them with the implementing agency to take further steps, resulting in a product that, in the absence of stakeholder ownership, had no practical application. Others emphasized a broad participatory stakeholder process, often to the detriment of designing concrete interventions to tackle specific priority environmental problems. In some cases, recommendations narrowly addressed one aspect of policy reform and did not indicate where such reform was reinforced or contradicted by other policies.


Policy packages are designed on a case-by-case basis to solve specific priority environmental problems and involve different combinations of environmental policy instruments, including regulatory and economic instruments, voluntary approaches, information and education, and other policies. In OECD countries, the emphasis is increasingly placed on working out effective mixes of these instruments.

Successful implementation of environmental policies and policy packages will require consideration of the following issues.

  • First, the design of a policy package should involve all relevant governmental (at different administrative levels) and non-governmental stakeholders (industry, academia, and NGOs). Consultations with industry representatives would be particularly important, because of the importance of securing the regulated community's commitment to supporting the future program.
  • Second, it is vital that the policy package be based on programmatic objectives and targets (set by the stakeholders themselves) that address priority environmental problems.
  • Third, the development of a policy package should be accompanied by an analysis of financial viability of identified policy options, as well as their social impact.
  • Finally, effective enforcement and compliance mechanisms are needed to implement the policy package.

In the environmental policy reform process that is underway in many EECCA countries, this policy packaging approach is crucial in terms of strengthening the linkages between various environmental policy instruments and creating an integrated environmental management program. At the same time, the specifics of its application in the EECCA may be different from those in Western countries. Particularly, in the OECD countries, a policy package targets a specific problem, and the government, through a flexible legal framework, picks the relevant instruments that would constitute a package. In this way, there may be a package to control sulphur dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions, a package for managing hazardous industrial substances, a package for non-point source water pollution, etc.

For more information contact:

Eugene Mazur
Environment and Globalisation Division
Environment Directorate
2, rue Andre-Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
Tel: (33 1) 45 24 76 92
Fax: (33 1) 44 30 61 83