The first GOVTRAN workshop, held at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki, Finland on 8-9 July 2019, focused on appraising the EU‘s 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework. Following political agreement on the 2030 Framework in 2014, EU policymakers have developed implementing legislation in the past few years. It is therefore timely to consider the prospects for the Framework, and to assess what legal issues may arise in its implementation. The workshop was timed to coincide with the start of the Finnish Presidency of the European Council. As such, the workshop kicked off with the Chief Negotiator for Climate Change of Finland, Outi Honkatukia, outlining the Finnish priorities concerning climate and energy in the coming months.

Papers at the workshop addressed a variety of issues. This includes the alignment of elements of the EU 2030 Framework with the Paris Agreement‘s ‘ambition mechanism’, and how to ensure public participation and access to justice to increase the ambition of the Framework. The workshop also explored questions specific to the EU‘s renewable energy policies, examining whether the EU promotes or inhibits ‘net metering’, and the extent to which EU climate and energy policy supports the development of ‘energy communities’. Workshop participants further examined questions arising in the implementation in Member States, for instance the interactions between Germany‘s coal phase-out and the reform of the EU emissions trading system, as well as mechanisms to induce compliance with the 2030 Framework‘s overall targets. Finally, the workshop examined issues related to the expansion of the 2030 Framework to the broader Energy Community (including several Central and Eastern European countries), the extent to which the Framework helps mobilise and leverage climate finance, and the newly adopted Regulation on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Following the workshop, papers will be revised with a view to being submitted for a special issue of the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL). The special issue is due out in July 2020.

Thank you to all the participants for the insightful discussions!

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