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Ex-Post Cost-Effectiveness Analyses of Environmental Policies


Ex-Post Cost-Effectiveness Analyses of Environmental Policies

7 November 2006

How can the effectiveness of environmental policies be assessed in retrospect? Have the stated targets of environmental policies been achieved, and if so, was it because of the policies or because of other factors? Have targets been achieved at proportionate costs, or could there have been cheaper options of reaching them? These and other questions on ex-post policy evaluation were discussed at an expert workshop convened by the European Environment Agency and the Environment Agencies of Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. Benjamin Görlach gave an introduction to cost-effectiveness analysis as an evaluation tool, and presented experiences with ex-post cost-effectiveness analyses of environmental policies in Europe.

In his presentation, Benjamin Görlach first gave a general introduction to cost-effectiveness analysis as an evaluation tool, outlined the strength and weaknesses of a cost-effectiveness analysis in particular compared to cost-benefit analysis, and discussed the difficulties of applying CEA in retrospect (ex-post).

He further gave a survey of the practical experience with applied ex-post CEA in European environmental policy making, addressing the following points:

  • Legal provisions in European environmental legislation that require an ex-post evaluation;
  • Existing guidelines and manuals for conducting ex-post cost-effectiveness analyses;
  • Practical experiences with applied ex-post cost effectiveness analyses in Europe.

The presentation is available for download [pdf, 76 kb, English].

The presentation is based on the results of the project "Cost-effectiveness of environmental policies" which the Ecologic Institute conducted with eftec and IVM for the European Environment Agency. Benjamin Görlach's participation was made possible with support of the research project "Strengthening the research competence in the field of social-ecological research: Evaluation research in environmental policy".

7 November 2006
Copenhagen, Denmark
Evaluation, cost-effectiveness, CEA, impact assessment, economics