Institutions that crossed over national boundaries might have been in place for a while, but institutionalization induced by globalization, or in this case Europeanization, is rather a contemporary phenomenon. In the early 1990’s Euro emissions standards emerged as an EUwide regulatory framework to reduce exhaust gas emissions from motor vehicles. Initially it was low demanding in comparison to the more stringent standards already existed in the US and Japan for commercial vehicles. Nevertheless, with stepwise reductions in each release since then, the Euro-VI currently stands among the most stringent emissions standards for commercial vehicles.
The distinctive feature of Euro emissions standards however does not merely concern stringent measures, but rather the supra-national institutional characteristics for environmental regulation that can be considered as a role model in the design of governance systems for transitioning towards low fossil carbon societies. Particularly, with differences in the social and politico-economic structures among national institutional systems, it is crucial to acknowledge the imperative role of institutional interactions in an international context. The aim with this paper is to draw lessons from European experience in governing environmental regulation in transnational institutional settings that could be extended further to the development, diffusion and implementation of low fossil carbon societies of the future.