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

Original Paper


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?


Agency Environmental consultancy firms Environmental authority Globalization 



Clean development mechanism


Designated operational entity


Environmental consultancy firms


Environment, health, and safety


Environmental impact assessments


Environmental non-governmental organizations


European union


Memorandum of understanding


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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