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A Comparative Law Analysis of the Use of State‐Level Green Procurement in the European Union and the United States

Author(s): William Henry Clune

Journal: Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift
ISSN 2000-4273

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: green procurement

This paper undertakes a comparative law analysis of the use of state level procurement in the European Union and the United States to achieve state level environmental policy objectives. In both places, it is the tension between federal economic goals and state procurement objectives that continues to define the legal and operational contours of this field. As such, the questions to be examined relate to how federal laws compare under both systems in promoting or restricting state level environmental procurement practices. It is initially observed that the market participant exception to the dormant commerce clause gives U.S. states significant additional freedoms in their exercise of many procurement activities. How‐ever, recent and expanding Union legislative and judicial doctrines appear to be levelling the field in some respects. And in particular, as states in both the Union and the U.S. are increasingly relying upon green public procurement to play important roles in driving ambitious environ‐mental and economic policy strategies, there may be some convergence between the U.S. and European systems in granting greater levels of flexibility to state procurement practices that are part of more complex projects.
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