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Title: The Role of the Government in Voluntary Environmental Protection Schemes: The Case of ISO 14001 in China
Authors: Shin, Sangbum
Keywords: ISO 14001;industry self-regulation;China;environmental policy;government intervention
Date: 2005-12
Issue Date: 2016-10-25 15:59:03 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Increasingly, industry self-regulation, based on voluntary, market incentive environmental policy instruments, has become an essential part of global environmental governance. Among these instruments, the most important and widely accepted program is ISO 14001, an international voluntary standard for environmental management promoted by the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which had over 74,000 registered facilities as of October 2004. Some international relations scholars have focused on various aspects of ISO 14001, but the role of the government in its implementation especially in developing countries has been relatively overlooked. This paper investigates the role of government intervention in ISO 14001 in China. China is an important case because it is the only developing country among the top ten countries in terms of the number of ISO 14001 cer4fications, accounting for over 70 percent of the total number of certifications worldwide in October 2004. This paper demonstrates that government intervention in ISO 14001 is one of the factors that explain the rapid increase in the number of certifications in China. The Chinese government has not only been proactively introducing and facilitating ISO 14001, but has also been directly involved in the implementation of ISO 14001 through various organizational and personal connections. Government intervention has both positive and negative aspects. The positive aspect is that it has facilitated the effective and rapid establishment of a national ISO 14001 system. The Chinese government has promoted ISO 14001 as a national environmental policy, set up an organizational and legislative infrastructure, conducted pilot projects, and encouraged local environmental protection bureaus to promote it at the local level. The negative aspect of government intervention is that it might undermine the credibility and rigor of the certification system, particularly if the government has a bad reputation regarding policy implementation domestically or internationally. Therefore, this paper concludes that government intervention in market incentive environmental protection schemes-especially in developing countries-should be discreet: the government should play a significant role in supporting the scheme but should not directly control it as a main player. The main players should be the firms in the market.
Relation: Issues & Studies,41(4),141-173
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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