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Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Innovation: Comparing Canada, the US, and the EU Kathryn Harrison University of British Columbia.

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Presentation on theme: "Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Innovation: Comparing Canada, the US, and the EU Kathryn Harrison University of British Columbia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Innovation: Comparing Canada, the US, and the EU Kathryn Harrison University of British Columbia

2 Is Federalism “good” or “bad” for climate policy innovation? Good news in EU Shifting leadership among member states Burden sharing “best of both worlds” Good news in US Despite fed inaction, states taking matters into own hands

3 Is Federalism “good” or “bad” for climate policy? Good news and bad news in Canada: Fed-prov stalemate for almost 20 years Recent dynamic of provincial innovation and diffusion Why the difference? Constitutional authority Magnitude and distribution of costs Public opinion as switch Does it matter? Impact on climate policy

4 Canada Background: Relative decentralizaton Provinces own both sources and sinks Fed authority largely untested Uneven distribution of costs!

5 CO2e t/person, 2004 Emissions growth, AB7340% SK6962% ON1615% MB174% QC1211%

6 Canada Background: Relative decentralizaton Provinces own both sources and sinks Fed authority still largely untested Uneven distribution of costs Cyclical public attention

7 What happened? Pre-2006 Fed-prov: “joint decision trap” Prov-prov: “stuck at the bottom” Rabe: policy capacity, “show us the money” Post-2006 Fed-prov: feds increasingly irrelevant Prov-prov: innovation and diffusion BC leading Policy outputs: Fed level: lots of promises and plans, still no regulations Provincial level: C&T in AB, C tax in BC, commitments to WCI

8 US Background: Relative centralization Interstate commerce power, conditional grants  “everything airborne, from frisbees to flatulence” Big states are relatively green! “The California Effect”  Wealthy  Green  Special authority under Clean Air Act Public inattention, even after 2006 Variation at state level?

9 What happened? Fed-state: feds mostly irrelevant Some fed obstruction on tailpipe standards State lawsuits against EPA State-state: innovation and diffusion Led by NY, CA Policy outputs: At fed level: $ and voluntary At state level: renewable portfolio stds RGGI, WCI Not all states joining the parade

10 EU (Tiberghien and Schreurs) Background: Relative centralization: qualified majority (though not for taxes) Environment as unifying issue for EC Greater public concern, esp in key member states Big players had BAU windfalls! Germany + UK account for >100% of EU reductions Without Germany and UK, per capita increases in rest of EU 15 comparable to Canada, Australia (8%, ) EU had easier target rel to BAU: -3 to -9% vs. -29% for Canada, -31% for US

11 What happened? State-state dynamic: Early leaders held to commitments Shifting leadership EU-state dynamic: Burden-sharing Reinforcement of leaders by EP and EC Oversight by EC Policy Outputs: C taxes ETS

12 Intergovernmental dynamics Depends on fed constitutional authority No expectation of consensus in EU (or US) Depends on distribution of costs “Big players” were green and keen in US, EU, but not in Canada Depends on public opinion Like switch in Canada (also several EU member states), but has it turned off again?

13 Policy Outputs Federalism has facilitated stronger EU policy, partially filled void in US and (more recently) Canada, but still obstructive force in Canada It’s not all about federalism: Concentration of authority in legislative institutions Veto points can be activated by opponents (US) Ability for leaders to pursue normative commitments (UK, Canada, BC vs. US) Electoral systems: PR reinforces (and perhaps amplifies?) electoral pressure, esp when majority of voters inattentive Lock-in effects Electoral incentives window opened and closed without federal action?


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