An update on EU climate policy: recent developments and expectations

Claire Godet contributes a chapter on recent developments and challenges of the EU's climate policy in the book EU Environmental Governance, published with Routledge.

book cover


This chapter introduces the recent developments and challenges of the European Union’s climate policy. Since the 1980s, the European Union (EU) has been a leader in global climate cooperation. At the European level, inspired by the Kyoto Protocol, it established the first international emissions trading scheme and has attempted to diffuse climate concerns into other policy areas. So far, the EU has been successful in achieving some important targets. Nevertheless, its results are insufficient and current EU policies produce controversial effects. The EU chose to focus on emissions reduction (rather than, for example, increasing carbon sinks or rethinking production processes) and to favour market-based instruments (rather than command-and-control regulations). These choices have become the norm. They limit the EU’s possibility for innovation and slows down its progress in mitigating climate change. The future of European climate policy is uncertain. The European Green Deal is an ambitious program that would represent a great leap forward in building a carbon-neutral economic model, but might be insufficient. The increasing mobilisation of citizens will probably affect decision-makers in the next few years. However, such progress towards more participation might be limited by the internal dissonances within the EU and by the influence of industrial lobbies.

About the book

Drawing on expertise from renowned academics and practitioners from different disciplines, EU Environmental Governance: Current and Future Challenges helps readers to understand the main legal, political and economic issues of environmental protection since the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the European Union in 2015, until the 2020 Brexit, European Green Deal and coronavirus outbreak. The authors examine a broad range of sensitive and topical environmental issues including climate change, air pollution, waste management and circular economy, nuclear waste, biodiversity, agriculture, chemicals, nanotechnology, the environmental impacts of trade and environmental conflicts, presenting both current insights and future challenges. Overall, this volume exposes the reader to a vast array of empirical case studies, which will bolster their training and help tackle the environmental challenges faced by Europe today.


Godet, Claire
An Update on EU Climate Policy: Recent Developments and Expectations

EU Environmental Governance: Current and Future Challenges
Amandine Orsini and Elena Kavvatha (eds)
Routledge, 2020, ISBN: 9780367418687

Available as eBook  

Published Oct. 2, 2020 10:44 AM - Last modified Feb. 25, 2021 8:22 PM