An agreement between a government authority and one or more private parties to achieve environmental objectives or to improve environmental performance beyond compliance to regulated obligations. Not all voluntary agreements are truly voluntary; some include rewards and/or penalties associated with joining or achieving commitments. (IPCC)
Recently governments and industry have often discussed and this resulted in voluntary agreements that represent alternatives to regulatory measures.Voluntary agreements provide companies greater flexibility and therefor reduce the cost of climate mitigation. There have however question been raised about their environmental effectiveness, and some doubt it is enough to believe in 'good will' of business and industry.