Professor Måns Nilsson, Stockholm Environment Institute
Keywords: security, coherence, interaction, climate, neighboorhood, EU, integration
Energy security has become a key priority in EU energy policy. At the same time, climate change commitments not only live on but have even been raised with the recent Commission proposal of a 40% reduction target by 2030. But how coherent are the two policy objectives? Does the pursuit of one constrain the attainment of the other or do they actually reinforce one another?
This paper discusses the level of coherence between EU climate change mitigation policy and EU energy security policy -a relationship that is far from clear cut. We use a simple policy-analytical framework for a rapid policy coherence assessment, by which the two policy fields are juxtaposed in a matrix and subject to a process of expert judgment and scoring. This provides a macro-view of the interactions between the policies and identifies areas of concern and where policy action is warranted in order to build on synergies and reduce potential policy conflicts. In the analysis, EU’s availability, accessibility and affordability policies for energy security are set against its greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewable energy expansion and energy efficiency policies for climate change mitigation.
Our assessment shows that the two policy fields are broadly coherent but that there are areas that require attention since the level of coherence is strongly dependent on ancillary policy. We identified at least 6 complex interactions that policy makers need to look at closely so that they can be steered away from conflict and towards synergy.
The assessment also identified opportunities for more integrated policy making. For instance, climate policy could be used more effectively as a lever in neighbourhood policy – for example through cooperation on efficiency, bioenergy and solar energy. Energy and climate has been used a vehicle for EU integration in the past – and can effectively be used as a vehicle for more secure relationships with the surrounding world. Second, maintaining a renewable energy expansion policy, as separate from the ETS instrument, can strengthen coherence between climate mitigation and energy security, considering that diversification of supply is a central aspect of the security agenda.
Ultimately, however the outlook regarding future relationships between energy security and climate change policies is subject to very large uncertainties and external factors. Further analysis will require more profound scenario analysis concerned both with technology uncertainties and political uncertainties within EU and globally.
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Nilsson M, Zamparutti T, Petersen J E, Nykvist B, Rudberg P, McGuinn J, 2012, “Understanding policy coherence: analytical framework and examples of sector-environment policy interactions in the EU” Environmental Policy and Governance 22 395-423Nilsson-A-qualitative-look-at-the-coherence.pdf 202.31 KB