Exploring the agency of global environmental consultancy firms in earth system governance

Original Paper

Abstract

In contemporary global environmental governance, private companies are both recipients of as well as contributors to the development and spread of environmental practices, norms, standards, and legislation. One sector that seems to be of particular significance is the environmental consultancy industry. It assists public and private actors in developing environmental solutions and ensuring implementation and compliance by providing particular knowledge, management, and assessment skills. However, little attention has been paid to the environmental authority and agency of companies active in this field. This exploratory study on global environmental consultancy firms is guided by the basic research questions on agency in earth system governance: What is agency? How do actors acquire authority and become agents? How can we evaluate the effects these agents generate?

Keywords

Agency Environmental consultancy firms Environmental authority Globalization 

Abbreviations

CDM

Clean development mechanism

DOE

Designated operational entity

ECFs

Environmental consultancy firms

EHS

Environment, health, and safety

EIAs

Environmental impact assessments

ENGOs

Environmental non-governmental organizations

EU

European union

MOU

Memorandum of understanding

UN

United Nations

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for International and European Policy, K.U. LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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