European air pollution assessments: Co-production of science and policy
Policy making in the field of Air Pollution on an European level takes place in two different arenas. Negotiations on reducing emissions of pollutants began in the context of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (UN-ECE LRTAP) in 1979. Of a later date, but evolving in a rapid manner is the development of European Union (EU) legislation on air pollution. In 2005 the European Commission launched an integrated Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution.
This paper examines the question whether the scientific knowledge framework produced in the context of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) can keep its credibility, legitimacy and relevance when used in a different policy arena, e.g. the European Commission (EC) of the European Union.
The paper combines a conceptual framework for considering effective assessments with the notion of boundary work and co-production of science and policy to examine differences between the roles and division of tasks between scientists and policy makers in the two different policy contexts.
The paper concludes that, despite the differences between the two policy settings, user characteristics and the historical context are to a certain extent similar in LRTAP and the EU Clean Air for Europe Programme (CAFE), and that participants in the two processes partially overlap and tackle the same policy problem. The scientific knowledge framework as developed within LRTAP can maintain credibility, legitimacy and relevance when it is used in CAFE if certain conditions are fulfilled. One condition is the effective functioning of LRTAP, because the CAFE assessment process remains also dependent on the LRTAP process. Data collection and mapping efforts in the context of LRTAP form also the basis for the analyses within CAFE. Furthermore, a broadly embedded scientific basis is needed in the countries to enable each country to follow or relate to the analyses commissioned by the EU. The conceptual framework and concept of boundary work used in this paper turned out to be helpful in focusing on the dynamic relationship between science and policy.
|Publication||Int Environ Agreements 2008; 8(1):35-49|