Call for papers

International workshop and special issue on
Appraising the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework

Key dates:

  • Deadline for abstracts: 28 February 2019
  • Decisions: 15 March 2019
  • Full papers due: 17 May 2019
  • Author workshop: July 8-9 2019
  • Expected publication: April 2020

We now invite contributions to participate in an international workshop and a Special Issue of the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL) on “Assessing the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework”.

The Special Issue aims to be one of the first and most authoritative and comprehensive legal analyses of the 2030 Framework, a standard reference for academics, policy practitioners and the broader interested public. It seeks to offer a timely legal analysis of the EU’s efforts to decarbonise its economy in line with the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

In preparing its intended Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, the EU was one of the first parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to set new climate change mitigation goals for 2030. The initial targets have been modified during subsequent negotiations within the EU, and the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework is currently seeking to implement a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40% (compared to 1990), and achieve a share of at least 32% for renewable energy in energy consumption and an improvement of at least 32.5 % in energy efficiency.

Building on the EU’s 2020 climate and energy package, implementation of the 2030 targets has involved modifications to existing legislation as well as the adoption of new legal instruments. Key updates to existing legislation relate to the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The allocation of responsibilities among Member States for reducing greenhouse gas emissions outside the ETS sectors is governed by an Effort Sharing Regulation, resembling the currently applicable Effort Sharing Decision. The 2030 Framework also establishes a new Regulation for the Governance of the Energy Union to help achieve the climate and energy targets and align EU climate law with international processes. Moreover, the inclusion of land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) poses new questions for the development of EU climate and energy law.

Most of the relevant legislation to implement the 2030 Framework has now been adopted. At the same time, 14 Member States have called for the EU to increase its 2030 targets. The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighting the benefits of keeping global warming below 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C, as well as the potential follow-up to the Talanoa Dialogue under the UNFCCC serve to intensify the political pressure on the EU to increase its 2030 ambition. While this is necessary and justified from the point of view of international climate law and policy, it raises questions concerning legal certainty and predictability at EU level.

Against this background, we are interested in contributions addressing the following overarching questions:

  • Does the 2030 Framework succeed in aligning EU climate law with international climate law and ensuring constructive interaction between different levels and sites of climate law and governance?
  • Does the 2030 Framework leave sufficient scope for responding to global climate policy developments, such as global stocktakes under the Paris Agreement and climate science updates by the IPCC?
  • How could the 2030 Framework be understood and assessed from the perspective of different conceptual/theoretical lenses, such as multi-level governance, polycentric governance or experimentalist governance?
  • What are initial experiences with implementing the 2030 Framework at the Member State level, and what do they mean for its eventual success?
  • What does the closer integration of EU climate and energy law and policy imply for the achievement of climate change targets?

In terms of specific topics, a wide range of contributions is possible including but not limited to the following topics:

  1. Individual elements of the 2030 Framework
  • Reform of the EU ETS, including legal interactions between the EU ETS and other areas of EU climate, energy and environmental law (e.g. effort sharing, renewable energy, and air pollution), and the prospects of extending the EU ETS to new sectors.
  • Implications of the Governance Regulation for EU climate and energy law and policy, and experiences with drafting National Energy and Climate Plans.
  • Implications (e.g. in terms of accounting challenges and compliance with EU targets) of the inclusion of carbon sinks in the 2030 Framework and the LULUCF Regulation.
  • Implications of changes to the Renewable Energy Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive, and Climate Action Regulation compared to their predecessor instruments under the “20-20-20” package.
  1. Individual elements of the 2030 Framework
  • The adequacy of the 2030 Framework in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on 1.5 °C, and the potential for revising the EU’s climate contribution upward.
  • The alignment between the 2030 Framework and the Paris Agreement’s Rulebook (or lack thereof).
  • The EU’s coverage of emissions from international aviation and shipping, and potential interactions with international mechanisms, in particular the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
  • The role of negative emissions technologies in the 2030 Framework.
  • Interactions between EU climate and energy law and national initiatives, such as those related to phasing out fossil fuels (e.g. in Germany or Spain) or promoting renewable energy and/or biofuels.
  • Interactions between the low-carbon economy pursued by the 2030 Framework, and other ‘economies’ pursued by the EU (circular economy, blue economy).
  • The 2030 Framework in the context of EU state aid law (e.g. focusing on fossil fuel subsidies), and implications for policy coherence.

Should you wish to submit a paper, please send an abstract (max. 300 words), as well as the title of the paper proposal, author information and contact details of the corresponding author to by 28 February 2019.

We intend to inform authors within two weeks of this deadline.

We will select the most suitable paper proposals for presentation of full draft papers at an international workshop planned for June 2019 in Helsinki (exact date and location to be confirmed). Reasonable travel costs will be covered.

This call for papers forms part of the Jean Monnet Network ‘Governing the EU’s Climate and Energy Transition in Turbulent Times’ (GOVTRAN) pursued with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Pdf version of the call here

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