A Comparative Analysis Of Public Policies For Environmental Protection

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The entire range of activities carried out by international organisations is heavily dependent on comparative policy analysis. This is the case for the environment as much as, or perhaps even more than, for other policy fields. And it is the case for the OECD not less than for other international agencies. In order to illustrate the point, one may wish to look, sequentially, at the set of components which, taken together, form the OECD Environment Committee mandate, and give some thought to what role is played by comparative analysis, relative to each of these tasks. The current mandate of the OECD Environment Committee includes the following seven items:

  • examining common problems related to environmental management and proposing effective means of preventing, minimising or solving them, taking into account economic and other relevant factors;

  • encouraging the harmonization of environmental policies among the Member countries;

  • proposing policy options to prevent or minimise conflicts that could arise between member countries as the result of national environmental policies;

  • proposing policy options to prevent or minimise conflicts that could arise between Member countries in the use of shared environmental resources;

  • reviewing, assessing and consulting on environmental measures taken or proposed by Member countries;

  • assessing trends in environmental quality and improving the information base for environmental and natural resource management policies;

  • giving special attention to ways and means by which Member countries can contribute to environmental improvement and better management of natural resources in countries outside the OECD region.

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