Next Article in Journal
The Energy Savings and Environmental Benefits for Small and Medium Enterprises by Cloud Energy Management System
Next Article in Special Issue
From Waste Management to Resource Efficiency—The Need for Policy Mixes
Previous Article in Journal
BIM and Sustainability Education: Incorporating Instructional Needs into Curriculum Planning in CEM Programs Accredited by ACCE
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evidence of Absolute Decoupling from Real World Policy Mixes in Europe
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 528; doi:10.3390/su8060528

Policy Mixes to Achieve Absolute Decoupling: An Ex Ante Assessment

Institute for European Environmental Policy, 11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesca Montevecchi, Tomas Ekvall and Martha Bicket
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [405 KB, uploaded 2 June 2016]   |  


One approach to reducing the environmental costs of economic activity is to design and implement policies that aim at decoupling economic activity from its environmental impacts. Such a decoupling requires an economy-wide approach to policy-making, through broad mixes of policy instruments that create the right framework conditions for decoupling, and which provide coherent and consistent signals to resource-using sectors of the economy. This article summarizes the ex ante qualitative environmental assessment of three policy mixes (over-arching, metals, and land use) developed within the DYNAMIX project, highlighting their potential impacts on raw material extraction, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, freshwater use, and biodiversity (parallel assessments addressed economic and social impacts, and governance issues). Whilst the environmental assessments largely identified positive impacts, some policies had potential for minor negative impacts. The key challenges for undertaking such an assessment are identified (including uncertainty, baseline accuracy, the differing nature and scope of policies, policy flexibility, and the challenges of implementing volume control policies). Finally, some conclusions and lessons for policy-makers are presented, to contribute to the development of future policies and improve the reliability of future environmental assessments of policy mixes. View Full-Text
Keywords: resource efficiency; decoupling; environmental assessment; policy mixes; raw material extraction; greenhouse gas emissions; land use; freshwater use resource efficiency; decoupling; environmental assessment; policy mixes; raw material extraction; greenhouse gas emissions; land use; freshwater use

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Watkins, E.; ten Brink, P.; Schweitzer, J.-P.; Rogissart, L.; Nesbit, M. Policy Mixes to Achieve Absolute Decoupling: An Ex Ante Assessment. Sustainability 2016, 8, 528.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top