In a Economics of Network and Service Industries class, I heard about "No regrets" policy.
It is an environmental policy in EU, if I well understood.

I am not able to find any precise information about it. Can someone point me in the right direction?

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    I think "no regrets" here is just being used as a synonym of erring on the side of caution. That is, it is better to tamp down immediately on possible pollutants than to wait and see if something is a pollutant, or to do a cost-benefit calculus oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100238392 Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 17:56
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    „There is something fundamentally wrong with treating the earth as if it were a business in liquidation.“ (Herman E. Daly) No regrets could also mean preserving what you have so that the case the it might be gone and you might miss it, doesn't happen. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


Graham Loomes and Robert Sugden introduced Regret (decision) theory in the theoretical economics field in 1982.

The no regrets policy is an approach to management that involves erring on the side of caution and planning well in advance. In other words acting now to avoid potential regrets in the future.

It appears that the term has been mainly used in the environmental/climate change context in the EU. It is also referred to in terms of Covid-19 in developing countries by the World Bank / Centre for Global Development

The Circles of Climate site says

Climate change is complex, its exact patterns and impacts are uncertain.

No Regrets strategies are based on concepts and measures that can begin to be enacted now without being certain about all dimensions of future climate change. Measures are taken and strategies are thus adopted in a precautionary sense with the aim of responding to possible negative impacts before they intensify. Such measures are advisable for future generations, but also relevant to enhancing the living conditions of people in the present.

No Regrets strategies crosses the boundary between adaptation and mitigation. With No Regrets strategies, the benefits of adaptation and mitigation measures therefore continue even if the effects of climate change are not as horrific as currently anticipated.

The no regrets charter (Principles for Climate Change Adaptation in Cities) can be downloaded from the above link too.

  • Ok, so it is not a specific policy rather only kind of it?!
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 19:39
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    See also "precautionary principle" Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 3:41
  • Can we summarize it has "do-everything-possible, as much as we can" ?
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 12:41

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