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Session Overview
Panel 710: Europe's New Climate Policy Research Horizons
Tuesday, 03/Sep/2019:
4:45pm - 6:15pm

Session Chair: Paul Tobin, University of Manchester
Location: Room 12.32

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Europe's New Climate Policy Research Horizons

Chair(s): Paul Tobin (University of Manchester, United Kingdom)

Climate change represents an urgent and complex new policy challenge that intersects with every sector of society in Europe. Myriad policy areas influence – and are influenced by – climate policy ambition. In this panel, three papers discuss the development of climate change from being primarily an environmental issue to one that is creating new research horizons. First, Simon Chin-Yee explores the relationship between climate mitigation and adaptation commitments and security policy within states. Second, Lauri Peterson builds on this discussion by asking whether hazards caused by climate change play a role in shaping the ambitiousness of states’ climate policies. Finally, Heike Böhler looks beyond the state to analyse the role of non-state actors on climate policy, by mapping lobbying and private climate governance initiatives in the European Union. Drawn together, these three papers provide innovative explorations of the new challenges that are being created by the burgeoning impacts of climate change, and the need for policy-makers to respond accordingly.


Presentations of the Symposium


Do Climate Hazards Compel Countries to Implement More Ambitious Climate Policies?

Lauri Peterson
Uppsala University

I examine the question whether countries that have been affected by climate change-related disasters are more likely to take on more ambitious climate change mitigation policies. Employing the EM-DAT international disasters database and sub-indicators of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) on mitigation, I investigate the effect of climate hazards on countries’ ambition for climate change mitigation policy. The literature on crisis management generally expects external shocks such as disasters to initiate concerted public action in order to prevent future calamities. An increasing body of literature has sought to find similar effects for more long-term threats such as climate change. Scholars working on voter behavior or international relations similarly predict that exposure to climate hazards will increase the importance of climate change in domestic policy-making. Several empirical studies have shown that more exposed local governments are more likely to implement more ambitious climate policies. While this potential mechanism has been studied on the level of municipalities and federated states, there is a research gap on the level of countries. This article aims to overcome that gap and studies the effect of climate hazards on the country domestic level.

Mainstreaming of Climate in the EU Budget: The Impact of a Political Objective

Alessandro D'Alfonso

European Parliament, Belgium

The EU has committed to spending 20% of its 2014-2020 financial resources on climate-related measures. Against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement and of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, such a high-level political objective acquires new salience in the negotiations for the post-2020 EU budget. The European Commission has proposed to raise this target to 25% of the EU budget, while the European Parliament has called for an even more ambitious approach.

Tracking and reporting climate-related expenditure pose several challenges. The analysis will describe how some of the institutional stakeholders have tackled these challenges to date, and possible ways to improve further the monitoring and impact of such a broad objective. The aim is to ascertain the actual contribution that climate mainstreaming in the EU budget can make to the achievement of policy objectives.

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