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The Volkswagen Scandal: What could the short-term impact be on EU policy?

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The last few weeks have certainly been turbulent for Volkswagen (VW). It was discovered at the end of September 2015 that the company had manipulated tests for nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from its cars so that these appeared to be lower than they actually were. This discovery ultimately led to the resignation of VW’s CEO […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Finnish Climate Change Act – In Line with What Finland’s Public Wants?

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On 6 March 2015, the Finnish Parliament passed the Finnish Climate Change Act (FCCA), the first of its kind in Finland. Pro-environmental organisations and political parties generally heralded the act as a symbolic success, as it enshrines the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. However, the act has also been described […]

The rise of climate change on the European Union agenda: 1988-2011

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When the European Council – the institution that sets the European Union’s agenda on broad, strategic issues[1] – published its Declaration on the Environment on December 3, 1988, climate change was mentioned briefly and in passing.[2] In 2009, the year of the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, the topic’s salience had risen dramatically. In […]

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 […]

Policy Entrepreneurs: Key Players in Bottom-up Climate Policy

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As the top-down, United-Nations driven target setting approach to international climate through the Kyoto Protocol approach has increasingly been called into question, many have begun to highlight the advantage of bottom-up approaches. Whereas the top-down approach is analogous to divvying up a pie among different countries, the bottom-up approach means that each country contributes some […]

German Environmental Science-Policy Interactions – Greening Policies, but on a Par with Economic Competitors?

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The use of knowledge has become increasingly important in policy-making for tackling important societal challenges such as climate change. As a result, the role of scientific evidence has grown as well. Particularly, the role of environmentally-related scientific knowledge has becomes more important. A significant example of this development is the 2011 100% Renewables Report of […]

Climate Change Skepticism in the UK Independence Party

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On 6 May 2005, the day after the UK general election, the Euroskeptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) had much to be concerned about. Despite fielding 558 national candidates, UKIP had no seats in the UK Parliament and had won only nine seats on local councils. Ten years later, things have changed. UKIP currently holds 370 […]

The Politics of Climate Ambition: The EU’s 2030 Emissions Target on the Road to Paris

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With the first ten months of 2014 being the warmest January-October period since records started in 1880, many hope that the current climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru will lay the groundwork for a global climate deal in Paris in December 2015. In this context, on October 24 the European Council announced that the twenty-eight […]

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