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 4: Initiating the package for 2020

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

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


The authors examine the initiation of the EU climate and energy package for 2020. The Commission initiated the package based on two issue-linkage mechanisms. First, issues that were differently valued among individual and collective policymakers as regards energy security and climate mitigation were combined, in order to unify support from pivotal actors within the Commission, among the member-states and powerful industrial actors. Secondly, there was considerable emphasis on synergies between climate and energy policies. Synergies were to be created by climate and energy goals that were mutually reinforcing, so as to reduce air pollution, create green jobs and stimulate technological innovation. Trade-offs were largely ignored. The Multi-level Governance and the Liberal Intergovernmentalist approaches can explain different aspects of why and how the package came about. The package was initiated also as a response to external energy events and international commitments – specifically, the rise in oil prices, the Ukraine/Russia dispute over gas supplies and the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

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