Leipprand, A., Flachsland, C., Pahle, M.

Starting low, reaching high? Sequencing in EU climate and energy policies

in Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 14.09.2020

Peer Review , Governance

In order to achieve the UNFCCC Paris Agreement goals, climate policies worldwide require considerable ratcheting-up. Policy sequencing provides a framework for analysing policy process dynamics that facilitate ratcheting-up. We apply a sequencing perspective to two key EU climate and energy policies, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), to comparatively test the empirical relevance of sequencing for single policies – in addition to sequencing across policies, which has been the focus of sequencing theory so far – and to uncover specific mechanisms. Our results confirm that sequencing, based on triggering positive and controlling negative feedback, is relevant both within and across policies. Policy choices that may facilitate ratcheting-up include tools to control costs, the possibility to centralise and harmonise in a multi-level governance context, options for compensation of reluctant actors, and the encouragement of learning processes.