Struggling to leave behind a highly regulatory past? 'New' environmental policy instruments in Austria

KW Wurzel, L Bruckner, A Jordan, A Zito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Austria has long been urged to make wider use of market-based instruments by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Despite this and the significant increase in domestic demands in recent years, the uptake of 'new' environmental policy instruments (NEPIs), namely market-based instruments (such as eco-taxes and tradable permits), voluntary agreements and informational devices (such as eco-labels and eco-audits) has been only moderate. Austria has used some eco-taxes but has refrained from adopting an ecological tax reform. Tradable permits have arrived on the domestic political agenda primarily because of the European Union's efforts to make use of this type of NEPI. Voluntary agreements have been used only very sparingly despite a consensual domestic policy style. Overall, NEPIs have mainly supplemented traditional regulatory instruments and subsides which continue to dominate Austrian environmental policy. Austria is struggling to leave behind a strongly regulatory past. The Austrian policy structures and style as well as its formidable past environmental record have retarded NEPI innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-72
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Cite this