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Accelerating low carbon transitions via budgetary processes? EU climate governance in times of crisis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Katharine Rietig



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The European Commission succeeded with its proposal to dedicate 20% of the 2014-2020 EU budget to climate mainstreaming despite the acute financial and economic crises. It proposed an 25% target for the 2021-2027 EU budget, which was increased to 30% in the negotiations with the European Parliament and Council. How was it possible to keep a policy on track towards more ambitious targets despite changing framework conditions such as multiple crises? This article process-traces the European Commission’s approach to increasing climate ambition in and despite turbulent times. The European Commission played a key role in maintaining stringency of existing long-term goals through policy entrepreneurial leadership, mutual learning and using policy path-dependency from the 20% climate mainstreaming target. This has wider implications for theory through taking into account the importance of policy entrepreneurs and learning in policy stabilization towards decarbonization and other long-term targets at risk of being derailed by crises.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rietig K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of European Public Policy

Year: 2021

Volume: 28

Issue: 7

Pages: 1018-1037

Online publication date: 17/06/2021

Acceptance date: 10/11/2020

Date deposited: 16/11/2020

ISSN (print): 1350-1763

ISSN (electronic): 1466-4429

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2021.1918217


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