From emissions trading to the European Green Deal: the evolution of the climate policy mix and climate policy integration in the EU

Authors: Sebastian Oberthür and Ingmar von Homeyer

Published Open access in the Journal of European Public Policy – JEPP Special Issue: Climate Policy: From Complexity to Consensus?

Link to full open access article


This article analyses the development of the mix of EU climate policy instruments and the level of climate policy integration (CPI) in the twenty- first century. Complementing established criteria of ambition and stringency, analysis of the instrument mix and CPI enables a fuller assessment of the transformational potential of EU climate governance. We argue that both have significantly advanced towards matching the ‘super-wicked’ nature of the climate challenge, although important gaps and challenges remain in addressing all relevant sectors, barriers and drivers. First, EU climate governance has ‘thickened’ through a stepwise layering of various economic, regulatory, procedural, and informational instruments. Second, this thickening has gone hand in hand with an expansion and strengthening of CPI. The European Green Deal promises to further complement the instrument mix and to universalise and prioritise CPI, but major initiatives remain to be proposed and realised for the Green Deal to propel the needed comprehensive transformation.

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