This discussion paper presents the main findings from a meta-analysis of climate change mitigation policy evaluations in the European Union (EU) and six Member States: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece and the United Kingdom. In doing so, it seeks to provide insights into how evaluation practices might be improved, and responds to information and knowledge needs about the state of European climate change mitigation policies, which are expected to become ever more important in the context of the Paris Agreement and the forthcoming Governance Regulation. The study further aims to improve the understanding and to contribute to ongoing studies of European policy evaluation practices.
The European Union has often been described as a leader of climate change action, and convincing arguments can be found to support this leadership claim. However, recent economic, political and institutional developments such as the decision of the UK to leave the bloc or the rise of populist parties throughout Europe have put pressure on the EU itself and pose some significant challenges to its climate leadership role, particularly since current EU policies are unlikely to meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 degrees. At the same time, with US president Donald Trump turning his back on multilateral climate action, EU climate leadership is more necessary than ever. This discussion paper shows how the EU has led on climate change issues in the past, and analyses the current challenges EU climate and energy policies face. It also presents suggestions for improving internal climate and energy governance, and describes how the EU could reclaim its international leadership role by strengthening existing partnerships with non-EU countries and capitalising on its extensive governance experience and climate know-how.
This discussion paper examines the broader architecture for global climate governance after Paris and offers suggestions for improving coherence within international climate governance that can be implemented by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, Parties to other international legal instruments, non-Party stakeholders, and other relevant actors. It begins with an overview of three significant areas of climate action initiated outside of the UNFCCC – focusing on other international legal regimes, minilateral climate coalitions and actions by non-Party stakeholders – and offers some indications of how such action may evolve in light of the Paris outcome. It then discusses the ways in which the United Nations climate regime is linked to action taken in other venues, with a focus on the Paris Agreement. The discussion paper ends with three suggestions on how those relationships could be strengthened, namely: (1) enhancing the visibility of non-UNFCCC climate action; (2) developing operational linkages; and (3) monitoring and review).
Institutional, economic and social contexts influence the formulation as well as the implementation of climate policy instruments. To design more robust and adaptive instruments, it is necessary to understand different categories and types of contextual factors that are central to EU climate change mitigation. This paper identifies three types of contextual factors: institutions and governance; innovation and investment; attitudes, behaviour and lifestyle. By categorising the contextual factors and mapping examples of how each factor shapes and influences mitigation policies and their outcome, this paper seeks to contribute to more systematic understanding and structured discussions for EU and member state policy-makers.