Co-Regulation in Mexican Environmental Law
Lesley K. McAllister
University of San Diego School of Law
June 11, 2012
32 Utah Envtl. L. Rev. (2012 Forthcoming)
San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 12-088
In the early 1990s, the Mexican federal government established a co-regulatory approach to environmental enforcement: the National Environmental Audit Program. Participating companies were required to contract a private auditor to identify instances of non-compliance and then negotiate an agreement with the government for attaining compliance. Upon successful completion of the agreement, the company would receive an eco-label from the government. By 2010, about 9,000 Mexican facilities, accounting for more than 60% of Mexico’s industrial gross domestic product, had participated.
The Audit Program is a significant example of environmental co-regulation in a developing country. Co-regulation, a regulatory approach that combines elements of mandatory state-directed regulation and voluntary self-regulation, has been used more commonly in industrialized countries, particularly European countries. Based on empirical research, the article contributes to a line of literature suggesting that the reasons that environmental co-regulation emerges in developing countries differ from the reasons it emerges in industrialized countries. In particular, co-regulation in developing countries is driven to a greater extent by deficits in governmental regulatory capacity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: co-regulation, environment, auditors, regulatory capacity, Mexico
JEL Classification: K23, K32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 12, 2012 ; Last revised: August 19, 2012
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