Guidance for lay audiences on regulatory instrument selection
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The purpose of this guide, authored by Dr Chris Taylor, is to help policy makers and regulators develop ideas for achieving policy objectives that make use of the full range of policy and regulatory instruments at your disposal (e.g. emission licences, tradable permit schemes, product labelling, voluntary agreements). It could be used to design new measures, or to identify better ways than at present to achieve objectives that harness the influence of non-government actors. It is intended to spark thinking and debate. You could use this guide to help stimulate your own thinking, or to support a discussion with your team or other stakeholders.
The content focuses on describing the range of instruments that could be used and exploring when they are suitable. It focuses on instruments to tackle environmental risks, though many of the approaches described can also be used for other policy objectives. It is assumed that the reader already has a good understanding of the policy objectives to be met, the forms of market failure (e.g. polluters not compensating for damage caused) or other policy considerations that lead to the need for intervention, the stakeholders involved and the environmental, social and economic systems that connect them together. It is also assumed that the option of doing nothing has been considered but is unacceptable.
In line with the Defra Policy Cycle, instrument ideas sparked from this guide will need to be developed into full proposals and their impact assessed. This development process is beyond the scope of this guide.