Institutes & Centers

Institute for Comparative Federalism - Environmental Policy and Law in Multilevel Systems

Environmental Policy and Law in Multilevel Systems

Environment is one of the key areas of law that are regulated and implemented by different governmental levels and actors, thus challenging the traditionally vertical division of powers among layers of government and requiring increasing cooperation.

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Since environmental problems usually have local, national, transnational, and global dimensions, the Institute investigates whether and how the management and conservation of natural resources, as well as the protection of the environment, are guaranteed both at different governmental levels and, from a comparative perspective, in different legal systems.

The main research topics covered so far are climate change and energy transition; the management and protection of water resources; public participation in the environmental decision-making procedures; the protection of biodiversity and ecological connectivity; the improvement and harmonization of low carbon policies and strategies; the impact of EU environmental law on the Italian national and regional/provincial legislation; the allocation of environmental powers between the State and Regions/Autonomous Provinces/Autonomous Communities in Italy and Spain; the role of Constitutional Courts in shaping the concrete exercise of environment-related competences in compound systems; intergovernmental cooperation in the environmental field.

Beyond basic research, a number of third-party-funded (EU and Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen) projects and consultancies have been carried out.

Furthermore, environmental protection being an interdisciplinary field, many activities were carried out in collaboration with other Eurac Research's Institutes (Institute for Renewable Energy and Institute for Regional Development). More recent activities also overlap with other research fields of the institute (e.g. Autonomies: Italy and South Tyrol and Institutional Innovation and Participatory Democracy).