The book provides a comprehensive economic theory and analysis of environmental voluntary agreements (VAs), which takes into account the variety of forms and application situations characterizing this environmental policy instrument. Common methodologies, implementation rules and evaluation criteria for researchers, policy makers and business operators in the use of environmental voluntary agreements are discussed. Case analysis complements the theoretical analysis. A European and an American approach to VAs are distinguished, and cases in China and Australia are also included. National and sector experiences are investigated in order to consider the full range of applications which the flexibility of VAs allows. Opportunities and risks in the use of VAs are examined. Their evaluation, also in comparison and in conjunction with other policy tools, is performed. VAs are still an instrument in evolution, so the trends in their design and enforcement rules are considered. The authors are mainly economists and law scholars from Universities, research centers, environmental agencies and international institutions.

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