New analysis of EU climate and energy policies demonstrates how contextualised design is key to effecting change
3 min read

New analysis of EU climate and energy policies demonstrates how contextualised design is key to effecting change

As EU decisionmakers finalise policies to deliver the Green Deal and its Fit for 55 package, while setting new targets to address the energy crisis, this new report by the European Corporate Leaders Group argues ‘context is everything’ and suggests policies that draw on national and local circumstances and engage consumers and businesses can deliver change more effectively.

The report is released into a packed timeline of key European and international political discussions including the European Summit in Czechia (October 6-7), Energy Council (October 11-12), and next month’s COP27 summit. It seeks to highlight the need to design thought-through, integrated, contextualised climate policies in order to deliver the scale and speed of change to address the multiple challenges we face today and keep global average temperature rise to 1.5C.

‘Context is everything: Insights and lessons for successfully delivering the European Green Deal’ also makes the case that an enabling environment can enhance policies’ ability to deliver sustainable societies and that ambitious policy frameworks need to go hand in hand with conditions that encourage households and businesses to make greener choices, drawing out the factors that influence the ability and willingness of consumers and businesses to make more sustainable choices.

Sanna Markkanen, Senior Analyst, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) said: “This report comes at a crucial moment for the EU to develop and implement the policies and plans needed to address the multiple crises we face relating to climate change, biodiversity loss, energy security and cost of living increases. It shows the great capacity of climate and energy policies to instigate change that can have broader co-benefits. If different policies support each other, they have the capacity to create synergies that make their impact stronger than what each policy could achieve in isolation.”

‘Context is everything’ focusses on the move from targets to policy implementation and will be launched at a the Green Growth Summit in Brussels on Monday October 10. This high-level event brings together Environment, Climate and Energy Ministers, State Secretaries, Ambassadors, Members of the European Parliament and business leaders to discuss how to ensure an ambitious outcome of the negotiations and implementation of the Fit for 55 Package, in parallel to the REPowerEU Plan, and reflect on how the EU could show global leadership in climate action and clean energy transition.

Harry Verhaar, Chair of the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe) and Head of Global Public and Government Affairs at Signify said: “Successfully delivering the European Green Deal requires a coherent approach on all elements of the energy transition, from tapping into energy savings to investing in clean energy. Yet as some areas will have a longer-term horizon, it is crucial for Europe to significantly step up our efforts on energy efficiency which will lend many benefits in the short term, including reducing carbon emissions, creating good local jobs and reducing energy bills. With half of Europe’s light-points still being old technology, a switch to LED lighting will save Europe close to Euro 56 billion. Having enabling policies that drive adoption of carbon-friendly technologies will not only accelerate the energy transition, but also spur the innovations that Europe can lead on.”

The report draws on case studies highlighting how different contextual factors interplay with one another and climate policies, in turn affecting outcomes. These focus on buildings, transport, energy and circular practices, with business case studies from Iberdrola, Signify, Velux, Coca-Cola and ACCIONA, and detailed analysis of specific climate related national and regional policy instruments across Europe.

Policy examples spotlight the Superbonus scheme in Italy, Green Homes Grant in the UK, building renovation policies in Poland, use of wood in buildings in France and Germany, heat pumps in Denmark, EV subsidies in Norway, public transport in Estonia, food waste in France, Belgium and Denmark, and GHG reduction and offsetting in Spain.

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