Environmental policy integration (EPI) is the incorporation of environmental concerns and objectives into non-environmental policy areas, such as energy, transport and agriculture, as opposed to pursuing such objectives through purely environmental policy practices.

EPI is promoted to overcome policy incoherence and institutional fragmentation, to address the driving forces of environmental degradation and to promote innovation and synergy. But how effective are EPI strategies employed in practice?

In this chapter the authors provide a meta-analysis of scientific, empirical research on EPI to address this question. An important finding is the discrepancy between the adoption of EPI in terms of objectives and commitments and its actual implementation, that is, translation into concrete measures.

Overall, the authors found relatively few cases where environmental objectives were given a substantial status in non-environmental policies. The barriers we identified suggest that it is the actual detailed design or architecture of the strategies that are employed to promote EPI that really matters.