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Climate and Energy

Climate and Energy

Lessons Learned: The European Perspective

Internationally, the European Union has been acknowledged as a forerunner in the adoption and implementation of sustainable energy and climate policies. But despite remarkable successes, the EU has also encountered serious difficulties on its way –yielding important learning experiences. In their reflection on "Climate and Energy – Lessons Learned: The European Perspective", Michael Mehling and Dr. Camilla Bausch outline the history and present of climate policy efforts in Europe, and identify the most important lessons that can be drawn from the European experience.

The authors presented their findings on 17 November 2008 in Washington DC at a German-American Dialogue on "Transatlantic Climate and Energy Cooperation", hosted by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) and the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP). The results of the event are reflected in the final version of the paper [pdf, 1.5 MB, English].

The paper is part of one of three AICGS Policy Reports, each written by a German and an American author. Aside from Michael Mehling and Dr. Camilla Bausch, Dr. Joseph E. Aldy, (Resources for the Future; Harvard Project) contributed the US American perspective to the paper on "Climate and Energy: Lessons Learned". The other two Policy Reports focus on “Bioenergy in Germany and the U.S. "and “Short-Term Climate and Energy Potentials", respectively. The policy reports are part of the AICGS "Climate Change and Energy Project 2008".



Mehling, Michael and Camilla Bausch 2008: Climate and Energy - Lessons Learned: The European Perspective. Ecologic-Institute, Washington, DC, commissioned by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS).

Published In
Publisher Website: AICGS Policy Report , No.35
32 pp.
Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Climate and Energy Policy in Europe: A Timeline
2.1 First Phase: Focusing on Peace and Economic Integration
2.2 Second Phase: Climate Change as an Environmental Challenge
2.3 Third Phase: From Parallel Regulation to Integrated Governance
3. The Current Policy Framework: Actors, Principles, and Instruments
3.1 Actors and Processes
3.1.1 The Actors: Institutions, Networks and the Member States
3.1.2 The Process: Legislation, Negotiation, and Treaty Reform
3.2 Principles and Objectives 
3.3 Policies and Measures
3.3.1 Emissions Trading
3.3.2 Taxation of Energy Products
3.3.3 Renewable Energy and Biofuels
3.3.4 Energy Efficiency
3.3.5 Research and Development
4. Lessons Learned
4.1 Emissions Trading: The Value of Learning by Doing
4.1.1 Europe and Emissions Trading: From Opposition to Frontrunner
4.1.2 Excess Allocation and the Market Crash
4.1.3 Favoring Incumbents: The Challenge of Windfall Profits
4.1.4 Reforming the Emissions Trading Scheme: The Way Forward
4.2 Achieving Energy Sustainability: A Largely Unfulfilled Potential
4.2.1 Toward a Sustainable Energy Supply: Promoting Renewables
4.2.2 Managing Energy Demand: Harnessing Energy Efficiency
4.3 Sustaining European Leadership: The Importance of Targets
4.3.1 Explaining European Leadership: Why Europe Has Embraced the Climate Agenda
4.3.2 European Leadership in Action: Promoting Mitigation through Quantified Targets
4.3.3 Looking at Emissions Pathways: From Rhetoric to Reality?
5. Conclusions

Climate, Energy, climate protection, Emissions Trading, EU ETS, emission reduction targets, CO2, Europe, EU, USA