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Category Archives: Environment

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 […]

Theoretical Theatre: An innovative teaching method for EU Studies

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The European Union has an image problem. The “permissive consensus”[1] (aka non-informed consent) that supported European integration up to the early 1990s is long gone, and the image of “the European construction” as a guarantee of peace is no longer sufficient. Even the last European Commission thought a “new narrative for Europe” was required. Of […]

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 […]

On the Road to Paris and Beyond: What Role for Political Parties?

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As governments gear up for the international climate change Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris in December 2015, this post considers the role of political parties in climate politics. As the locus and focus of much modern-day political debate, parties arguably play a key role in shaping political conversations and actions on climate change. […]

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 […]

Either, or? British Membership and a Green Europe

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As discussions on a UK in/out referendum pick up steam, it is necessary to discuss how the United Kingdom would be affected by such a change. While the current discussion on EU/UK relations in mainstream media (in the UK and beyond) tends to focus on migration issues, there is an important environmental dimension. As such, […]

Climate Policy after the Crisis: From Environment to Energy

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The combined effects of the financial and economic crisis starting in 2008 and the fiasco of the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiation have led to a gradual re-framing of climate change from an environmental to an energy issue. As I detail below, this re-framing has happened in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways, from changes in political rhetoric […]

Road to Paris: Time for UK to show leadership on climate change

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The next twelve months will be critical in shaping the European Union’s position on climate change, ahead of the all-important UN climate negotiations which start next November in Paris. But will the UK be a help or a hindrance to delivering ambitious action on climate change? At the UN Climate Summit in New York this […]

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