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Category Archives: Energy & Climate Change

Is The Paris Agreement on Shaky Legs? How to Ensure Successful Implementation

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What is needed to make the Paris Agreement a success? This blog post focuses on one of the most central but underappreciated elements – the periodic reviews of progress.  States must of course make ambitious and credible contributions in the first place.  But if there is no system to ensure that they are monitored and […]

The politics of (bad) policy design: French solar panels and Northern Irish boilers

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As one previous post on this blog detailed, the current political turmoil in Northern Ireland was sparked by a subsidy for renewable energy production.  Though it is tempting to blame political carelessness, the ongoing RHI scandal prompts a broader reflection about renewable energy policy instruments. Incentives akin to the RHI are relatively common in renewable […]

Too hot to handle? The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme & the Northern Irish meltdown

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Since December, Northern Ireland has been bogged down in a major scandal on an apparently simple policy instrument – the renewable heat incentive scheme. The scheme, closed in early 2016, was set up in 2012 to encourage renewable heat uptake. Since then, it has generated a massive overspend (more than £1bn UK public money, £600 […]

Lessons from European Climate Monitoring Crucial for Paris Agreement Success

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As the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech draws to a close, it is becoming increasingly clear that credible monitoring and transparency procedures are urgently needed. Otherwise national pledges to address climate change in the spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement will not build sufficient global trust. The 2015 […]

Donald Trump v. The Environment: learning from past attempts to dismantle environmental policy

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A week after the Paris Agreement entered into force, the United States have elected Donald J. Trump as their 45th President – a man who famously described climate change as “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” His stance on climate change, his strong support for coal and pledge […]

Heathrow expansion in the shadow of Brexit

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After decades of debate on where – and whether – to expand airport capacity in south-eastern England, the UK government announced two days ago that it would favour building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This option, highly criticised on environmental grounds (notably due to the air pollution caused by road transport to the airport) […]

What a difference a vote makes? Second guessing British-EU environmental policy interactions after Brexit.

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Since Britain voted to leave the EU are we any wiser what it all means? Uncertainty seems the safest prediction for now. Yet given that Britain has played an important role in EU environmental policy, we need to try to make some sense of it. Towards a more German style EU environmental policy? In the […]

How the UK can still lead on climate change – even after Brexit

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In the wake of the Brexit earthquake, experts are sifting through the rubble, assessing the damage, and checking the stability of remaining structures. Advocates of ambitious climate policy have been particularly active. Since the late 1990s, the UK has been a leader on climate change, both domestically, within the European Union, and through its active […]

Where are the frontiers of climate governance data?

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The Paris Agreement opens a whole new chapter in the history of climate change governance, which will also require a paradigm shift in research. What are the main challenges in bringing about this shift? A remarkable feature of the 2015 Paris Agreement is that it allows countries to draw on a vast array of governance […]

Is the EU as green as it used to be?

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With the referendum on UK EU membership fast approaching, both the Leave and Remain campaigns have put forward their views on the future of environmental policy in the UK and its relationship with the EU. This political debate raises a number of questions:  how green is the European Union; how effective or in some cases […]

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