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Does the European Commission’s Climate Change Department Make a Difference?

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In my earlier blog post last week,[1] I argued that the creation of DG Clima—the European Commission’s climate change department—was a conscious political choice by Commission President Barroso in 2009. At the time, commentators and policy-makers disagreed on the potential impact of DG Clima on climate policy: some, such as Professor Reinhilde Veugelers from the […]

The Politics of the Rise of DG Climate Action

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In 2009, Commission President Barroso created a new Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG Clima) in the European Commission (EC). This decision was a deliberate political choice following considerable controversy at the time. With European Elections around the corner, and now 28 Commissioners, we may yet again see a re-shuffle of Commission departments. When debating the […]

Evader’s choice: Why tighter environmental implementation rules drive legislative fatigue and policy dismantling

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EU environmental action programmes set the priorities for EU environmental policy. After the 5th programme (1992-2000), which focused on sustainability,[1] the 6th programme (2002-2012) stressed the need for better implementation and the better environmental policy integration in other policy areas.[2] Adopted in November 2013, the new 7th action programme (2013-2020) focuses once again on implementation.[3] […]

How connected are European climate think tanks?

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There is a growing worldwide network of think tanks and research institutes which aim to provide policy-relevant climate change-related research. For example, the International Center for Climate Governance’s fascinating database of climate change think tanks currently lists 294 organizations who are “…conducting research in the field of climate change economics and policy.” Drawing on this dataset, I wanted to […]

Without complete overhaul of the tax system, French environmental taxation is destined to fail

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This post follows two previous posts on the Bonnets Rouges movement in France, a first post retraced the history of environmental/farming tensions in Brittany, a second post highlighted the links between the CAP reform and the movement. This third post reflects on the failure of the ecotax in the greater context of environmental taxation in […]

What to expect from Germany’s new government for energy and climate policy in the EU?

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Germany’s new government under Angela Merkel (her third term) was sworn in on 17 December 2013. While some faces will be familiar, much has changed as Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) entered a ‘grand coalition’ with the Social Democrats (SPD) after voters ousted her last coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), from parliament. But what […]

Unchaining EU climate policy: quarrels over EU decision-making likely to continue

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Earlier this year, the European Commission started to work on a new EU energy and climate change package, which will define European climate initiatives until 2030[1]. Whatever the EU plans to do at home will influence its negotiating position at the international negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP21), where the international community seeks to hammer […]

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