Studies in Policy Choices and Interactions
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Mikael S. Andersen, Birgitte E. Olsen, Stefan Speck, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 1: Climate policy integration: evidence on coherence in EU policies
Climate change represents the most exigent environmental problem our societies face. Just as much as a wide array of activities are or will be affected by climate change, current production and consumption patterns drive the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Many climate-relevant decisions are taken in policy areas other than environmental policy with only little regard to climate change impacts. It has to be recognized that climate policy is a cross-sectoral issue and needs to be firmly integrated in general and sector-specific policy areas that frame economic activity and societal development (Kok and de Coninck 2007; Ahmad 2009; Mickwitz et al. 2009). Experience however shows that there is a divide between the need of addressing climate policy as cross-sectional issue and short-term policy decisions that imply a low hierarchical rank for climate policy. Still a big step is necessary to depart from climate policy as add-on policy area towards comprehensive integration. Climate policy integration or mainstreaming is not only required for sectoral policies with direct physical interlinkages like energy or transport but also for other policy areas including budgetary, R & D or regional policy.