The international policy diffusion and fragmentation of environmental regulations

IDE Research Bulletin

March 2017

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Background of Objectives

In the field of environmental regulation, regulations and rules used to deal with problems are formed in individual countries, while seeking compatibility and linkage with each other; that is, a kind of "policy diffusion" has been observed in Asia. There are four examples well address the policy diffusion. In recent years, firstly, the fact that similar policies of the RoHS Directive and REACH Directive on the regulation of chemical substances formed in each country. Secondly, policies of hazardous waste management (HWM) increased in emerging Asian countries. The third is the regional and domestic emission trading schemes (ETSs) to reduce greenhouse gases emission with expansion of carbon markets. And lastly is the enhancement of environmental provisions in regional trade agreements (RTAs). In the research project, it analyzed the dynamics, as well as the causes, the consequences of policy diffusion, which may also create “fragmentation” between environmental regulations, through RoHS/REACH, HWM, and ETS cases. The project conducted empirical study across different fields and to compare the impacts between these issue-areas. It also analyzed how environmental provisions in trade agreements contributed to the spread and division of environmental regulations.