Improving Energy Efficiency: the Significance of Normativity

Kirk, Elizabeth and Besco, Laurel (2021) Improving Energy Efficiency: the Significance of Normativity. Journal of Environmental Law . eqab018. ISSN 0952-8873

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqab018

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Abstract

The failure of the global community to effectively address many large-scale environmental challenges calls into question existing regulatory approaches. A large number of these challenges are diffuse issues which have, over the years been targeted by significant and sizable regulatory frameworks and yet the challenges persist – energy efficiency is one such issue and is the focus of this article. Increasing monitoring or enforcement to achieve improvements in regulatory compliance is too expensive in the context of diffuse problems due to the scale and costs such activities would entail. We suggest a focus on the fit between regulatory frameworks and norm creation may identify more fruitful routes to regulatory reform. Drawing on the ‘interactional account of law’ as a framework, this research uses new empirical data from a survey and a set of interviews to investigate the failure of energy efficiency regulatory frameworks at achieving energy efficient norms of behaviour in industry. We look at Canada and the United Kingdom as our case studies and our emphasis is on industry actors as they represent a significant and yet understudied area of society. We find that though existing regulatory structures seem adequate to generate general shared understandings around obligations to engage in energy efficiency actions, more specific shared practice around actually engaging in these actions remain elusive resulting in a failure to engender norms of behaviour. These failures, we suggest, link directly to an inadequate fit between the regulatory tools and Fuller’s criteria for the internal morality of law.

Keywords:corporate action, normativity, interactional account of law, internal morality of law, government intervention, energy efficiency
Subjects:M Law > M140 Comparative Law
M Law > M290 Law by topic not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:46614
Deposited On:23 Sep 2021 10:24

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