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Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Global carbon emissions projected to stall in 2015: What are the implications for European climate change policy?

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Today, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) released the 2015 version of the Global Carbon Budget, which provides estimates for global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, and land use change. I sat down with Professor Corinne Le Quéré, who led the 2015 Global Carbon Budget release and is the Director of the Tyndall […]

Coherent Policy More Important Than Ever: The Paris Summit and Climate Policy Integration

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A quick glance at the many issues on the table of the international climate negotiations points to the myriad facets of our everyday lives that are intertwined with the climate change problem. Whether it is how we produce our food, our energy, our means of transport, or how we manage financial flows, technology transfer or […]

Mapping five years of environmental policy research in European studies

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The literature on European environmental policy has rapidly expanded over the last ten years. Between 2010 and 2015, there were over seven hundred articles about the European Union and environmental policy, compared to only two hundred and fifty articles between 2000 and 2005.[1] Ironically, given its focus, much of this literature is written outside of […]

Europe’s one-foot-in-one-foot-out approach to CCS isn’t working

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Last week’s announcement from Drax (the energy company that owns and operates the largest power station in the UK) that it would no longer invest in Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) development at its Selby plant came as little surprise. The news joins a litany of other stumbling blocks that CCS has suffered on its […]

“On track” or “probably not enough”? EU climate policies in Juncker’s first State of the European Union address

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Last Wednesday, Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his first State of the European Union (SOTEU) address. This speech – the longest since Barroso started yearly SOTEU back in 2010 – is a key agenda-setting moment for the Commission President, providing the opportunity to set out a personal vision on the major issues facing the European Union today. […]

Exploring the Impacts of Austerity on Environmental Policy

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Following the financial crisis of 2007/2008 and initial attempts to stimulate the economy through increased government spending, austerity has become a dominant narrative in many developed nations. Government spending has been significantly reduced in a number of European countries, as part of efforts to reduce both public deficits and debts. After several years of such […]

How Well Does Bottom-Up Climate Governance Work?

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The failure of the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference marked a shift in international climate governance. As the system of agreeing international emissions reductions targets and then negotiating individual country contribution towards that target proved increasingly unworkable, there has been a drive towards a much more bottom-up form of climate governance. In preparation for the Paris […]

Ten Years after the French and Dutch ‘No’: How the Two Countries Reinvented their Relationship with Europe

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Ten years ago today, the French voted down the European Constitution Treaty, which was supposed to replace existing EU Treaties and institute key changes such as the appointment of a EU foreign minister. This was followed by an even stronger ‘No’ in the Netherlands three days later. These ‘No’ votes succeeded where the Danish 1992 […]

Can we experiment our way out of climate change?

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As the climate continues to change at alarming rates, many have lost faith in traditional international approaches to address the issue. As a result, climate policy innovation and associated experimentation are en vogue.[1] The thinking goes that if old approaches are perceived to be failing, we need new and innovative ones. The hope is that […]

An Existential Crisis? The European Union, Austerity and Paris 2015

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Since 2010, the European responses to the global financial and economic crises have been dominated by a narrative of austerity. European governments have sought to bolster confidence in their economies by rolling back public spending. Austerity may pose an existential crisis for the European Union (EU), both regarding austerity-hit states being forced to leave the […]

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