Climate Change & Energy

Our Work

EU policy is central to progress in combating climate change both in Europe and globally. The climate programme engages in key contemporary issues, notably international negotiations, the role of bioenergy, strategies for transport, funding and the EU Budget, energy conservation and the challenge of adaptation.

Climate change is a complex problem that requires a coordinated policy response. As such, climate change crops up in all work areas at IEEP, from dealing with issues of environmental governance in relation to international negotiations, or in terms of understanding the links to land use. Together we are able to bring a range of disciplinary perspectives to the challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

To reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases causing global temperature increase, well-targeted mitigation measures are essential. IEEP has experience in evaluating the effectiveness of such measures, in particular by examining their national implementation in Member States.

The transport and energy sectors are the biggest contributors of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the EU so naturally a lot of our work centres on policies regulating these areas. Regarding transport, we were influential in the development of the recent legislation on limiting the CO2 emissions from cars and we are currently very much involved in the definition of sustainability criteria for biofuels. We have also worked on environmental labelling and consumer information on new cars; the links between climate change, transport and obesity; and the need to reform the existing perverse economic incentives that encourage car use.

The energy sector is key to reducing both CO2 emissions and resource use: bringing down energy consumption through demand management and improved efficiency, well-planned renewable energy technologies, sustainably implemented bioenergy and other emerging mitigation technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

In addition to efforts on mitigation, society must learn to cope with the impacts to which we have already committed ourselves as a result of past emissions. IEEP follows the evolution of policy for adaptation to climate change. Our current work in this area is concerned with improving Europe’s capacity to account for the cost of adaptation and related public spending, filling an important gap in the knowledge base for adaptation policy.

Addressing climate change costs money. IEEP is working to understand how climate change priorities can be reflected in EU spending, in particular how the concept of ‘climate proofing’ can be operationalised in the EU budget.

Climate policy and land use is an area where our work is rapidly expanding. IEEP’s capacity to think across sectoral and environmental policy domains enables us to consider conflicting policy objectives, such as those on bioenergy, soil carbon sequestration, urban planning and the EU’s impacts beyond its borders.

IEEP also has educational charity status. We have experience of training and capacity building on a wide range of topics. Notably, we have been very active in supporting the European Parliament in its role in EU climate policy.

Latest in Climate Change & Energy

  • Getting delivery right: the EU 2030 climate and energy targets and the challenge of governance

    The EU’s commitment to GHG reductions of “at least” 40% by 2030 are a useful contribution to international climate negotiations. But does the package of energy targets offered by the European Council at the same time put us on the right track to long-term decarbonisation goals? IEEP’s Martin Nesbit offers a personal perspective on what needs to be done, and how the governance arrangements need to be tightened.

  • The Manual: Front pages

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter provides information on the authors, editors and editorial board involved in the Manual, as well as guidance on how to use it, and a brief outline of its content.

  • The Manual: Chapter 1 - Policy framework

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. In this chapter, the reader is introduced to European environmental policy, EU institutions and agencies, and the development of EU treaties.

  • The Manual: Chapter 2 - Air quality

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter focuses on EU air quality policy. The policy field is extensive and contains many directives that impose standards, provisions and developments of air quality management and regulation.

  • The Manual: Chapter 3 - Climate change

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter on EU climate change policy outlines the initial EU programme to stabilise CO2 emissions in the EU with explanations of the directives, decisions and legislation that were employed to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

  • The Manual: Chapter 4 - Industrial pollution

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter provides information on EU industrial pollution policy, which outlines and discusses the legislation in place to minimise the negative effects of harmful substances and pollutants on the environment and human health.

  • The Manual: Chapter 13 - Sectoral policies

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter sets out the development of some of the most important links between EU environmental policy and other policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, trade, and so on.

  • Europe’s Climate and Energy Crossroads – IEEP seminars for MEPs on climate and energy issues

    IEEP has prepared two briefing documents on the climate and energy challenge in Central and Eastern European Member States, and in Southern European Member States. The briefings are background for a seminar we are organising for Members of the European Parliament, the first in a series on Europe’s Climate and Energy Crossroads.

  • The EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets – a triumph of short-termism?

    European leaders have raised the stakes for the Paris talks by agreeing a set of climate and energy targets for 2030. The challenge will be to implement the tortuous detail on energy policy in a way which matches with longer term decarbonisation ambitions.

  • Whither the new Commission?

    IEEP’s David Baldock gives his take on the new Commission in the latest edition of our newsletter. Read about how IEEP is raising ambition for the next EU climate and energy package, plus: priorities and policy options for a circular economy, payments for farmland biodiversity achievements, biodiversity proofing EU spending, and more.

  • Greener Britain: Practical proposals for party manifestos from the environment and conservation sector

    A coalition of the UK’s leading environmental groups, including IEEP, is calling for all political parties to commit to a greener Britain by 2020 by pledging seven major priorities to reform the way we use energy, build communities and protect nature.

  • On the path to a circular economy

    Read the lastest edition of our newsletter for our views on the circular economy package and much more.

  • Space for energy crops – An assessment on the potential contribution of Europe’s energy future

    The overall energy potential that can be produced from growing dedicated energy crops on ‘spare’ land in the EU is low. This new report explores the potential for the additional production of energy crops in Europe on land not already used for food production, forestry, or providing other important services, and assesses some of the challenges associated with increasing output.

  • Press release - Biofuels don’t deliver but bioresources have promise

    Biofuels produced from conventional agricultural crops deliver only limited reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and compete for limited supplies of land.

  • Environmental policy and the UK’s review of the EU Balance of Competences

    The UK Government’s Balance of Competences review has now taken evidence on 25 subject areas, including the 6 with the most relevance for the Environment. We take stock of the IEEP’s contributions, and consider what a possible UK renegotiation might mean for the environment.

  • Re-examining EU biofuels policy: A 2030 perspective

    EU biofuel policy must reflect the reality that while biomass in principle can be renewed, the overall quantity sustainably available is finite and must be shared across an emerging bioeconomy.

  • Tracking climate related expenditure in the post-2013 EU budget

    This study led by IEEP in collaboration with ICF GHK and CPI, examines how the emerging approach to tracking climate related expenditure in the EU budget could be further elaborated and refined over the period of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

  • Waste-based biofuels sector needs smarter EU 2030 package to realize its high potential

    A robust sustainability framework and ambitious decarbonisation targets for transport fuels in 2030 are necessary to ensure efficient waste utilisation and the long-term reduction of transport emissions.

  • How to design EU biofuels policy for post-2020?

    IEEP has organised two parallel workshops in Brussels and London to discuss with key EU and UK policy makers and stakeholders the future for EU biofuels policy post 2020.

  • Mainstreaming climate objectives in EU Cohesion Policy - a guidance briefing

    This IEEP publication presents a framework and approach to climate mainstreaming into EU Cohesion Policy that can provide practical guidance for managing authorities.

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