Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Decision-making, Implementation and Reform

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Jon Birger Skjærseth, Per Ove Eikeland, Lars H. Gulbrandsen and Torbjørg Jevnaker

Based on an innovative theoretical framework combining theories of EU policy making, negotiation and implementation, this comprehensive book examines EU climate and energy policies from the early 1990s until the adoption of new policies for 2030. The authors investigate how the linking of climate and energy concerns in policy packages has facilitated agreement among EU leaders with very different policy ambitions. Employing in-depth studies from a diverse range of energy-economic countries, the book also explores the impact of the implementation of policies on the climate and energy policy framework and the Energy Union initiative.

Chapter 3: Evolution of EU climate and energy policies

Per Ove Eikeland and Jon Birger Skjærseth

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


As background for understanding the subsequent policy initiatives presented in the ensuing chapters, this chapter outlines the development of EU climate and energy policies until 2005. In this period, the European Community unsuccessfully sought to craft a climate and energy package of policies in order to show ‘leadership by example’ at the 1992 Rio Conference. Key principles underlying today’s climate and energy policies were formed, but the development of EU climate and energy policy continued as isolated processes. Separate policymaking resulted in conflicts between energy and climate concerns from the end of 2003, a barrier to effective policymaking. The low level of ambition evident in energy policies adopted throughout this period is mainly in line with the tenets of Liberal Intergovernmentalism. The outcomes reflected the diversity of interests among the member-states. The development of the key climate policy instrument – the EU ETS – is more in line with expectations that follow from Multi-level Governance. The Commission initiated the EU ETS with support from certain industries, largely independent of the member-states that either opposed or were indifferent to emissions-trading. The Kyoto Protocol also facilitated the initiation of the EU ETS.

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