Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies
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Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Decision-making, Implementation and Reform

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.
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Chapter 5: Deciding the package for 2020

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


How and why were new, binding EU climate and energy policies unanimously agreed in 2008? The first conclusion is that linkages between issues and policies provided broad scope for mutual concession during the negotiations. Secondly, the package provided side-payments to compensate less wealthy member-states. Finally, issues and policies that might obstruct the basis for agreement were decoupled from the core package and negotiated independently. Related issues and policies were de-linked from the package, to reduce complexity and avoid magnifying differences in interests. As EU energy policymaking has traditionally been more intergovernmental in nature than has climate policy, the combined energy and climate package came to reflect a blend of Liberal Intergovernmentalism and Multi-level Governance. In addition, the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms served to reduce abatement costs for European countries and for industries.

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