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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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The Politics of Reducing Vehicle Emissions in Britain and Germany

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Sonja Boehmer-ChristiansenScience Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, Helmut WeidnerWissenschaftszentrum, Berlin

ISBN13: 9781855672031
ISBN: 1855672030
Published: September 1995
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

Vehicles are a major source of air pollution. Their emissions release alarmingly high levels of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and lead into the atmosphere, damaging human health, buildings, plants, fresh water and forests, as well as contributing to climatic change and ozone depletion.;Government policies regarding the vehicle industry stem from a variety of concerns, principally those of employment, the balance of trade and technological progress. Taxation of vehicles and fuel is an important source of government revenue. In addition the car remains a symbol of mobility and independence.;In December 1990, the Council of Ministers of the European Community agreed the mandatory introduction, for all new cars from 1993, of emission limits for exhaust gases requiring world best practice emission abatement technology: the fully-regulated autocatalyst. Agreement was finally reached after a decade of considerable controversy, with German and British interests - two extremes in the argument - set on a collision course.;During the 1980s, Britain, committed to privatization, reductions in public spending, and deregulation, abated vehicle emissions only reluctantly, largely as a defensive reaction to pressure from abroad. On the other hand, German action to abate acid emissions was internally motivated and earned it a much higher environmental profile.;Anglo-German differences were revealed in EC negotiations, which also highlighted the technical complexities of policymaking for the pollution control of major industries and the importance of commercial considerations.

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Part 1 The analytical framework: regulatory background; the decision-making process.
Part 2 The process of policy formation: the technical basis of the controversy; German developments since 1970; British perceptions and responses; the on-road situation at the beginning of the 1990s.
Part 3 Analysis and explanations: major findings; explanation of Anglo-German environment policy.