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Sascha Hahn

Forschungszentrum für Umweltpolitik

CO2 Emission Standards for Passenger Cars from a Neo-Corporatist Perspective: a Comparison between the Japanese and German Automotive Industry

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs

As a response on the increasing CO2 emissions by road transportation different countries and regions have implemented fuel economy or greenhouse emission standards for passenger cars. Depending on each single standard, the implementation and achievement of the set standards appear to be different. But what does really matter for the success of CO2 emission standard policies? What kind of mechanisms between economy and politics support the fulfillment of emission standards?

From the practical perspective, there are two important reasons to answer these questions. First, findings of this research would provide some insights to the broader question “how to involve economically relevant actors more into environmental protection”. Second, emission standards of today might fail to fulfill the national and global GHG emission targets. Thus, conflicts between regulators and the automotive industry may rise again and the negotiation process may repeat. What will be the best approach to optimize this process?

In order to answer these questions, this research examines the causes for the success of the Japanese “Top Runner Program” regarding emission standards for passenger cars. The results of the Japanese case are compared to the European policy approach with a focus on Germany. Apart from analyzing primary and secondary texts, semi-structured interviews with NGO-representatives, experts, regulators as well as decision-makers of the Japanese and German automotive industry are planned. The theory of this research is based on a neo-corporatist approach. The idea is that there are institutionalized rooms for negotiations between regulators and economical actors. The design of these institutions might shape the process of decision-making and thus, the policy outcome in a particular way.


2004 –2010:  University of Bonn, Area Studies of Japan/ Business Studies

2006 –2007:  Shizuoka University, Japanese Language