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Introduction to EU Climate Policy

Teacher Hans De Keulenaer, Iva Ganev


More than 20 years ago, the EU vowed to fight the newly identified danger of climate change. Over time, it has developed a policy which is two-fold: on one hand, it looks at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions inside EU borders and now has 2050 as horizon; on the other hand, it tends to lead by example and to push other big emitters to gather around similar emission reduction objectives.

Pursuing the idea of giving a price to carbon, the EU has put in place an instrument that would lead it towards decarbonisation: the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Launched in 2005, it has today become a complex system which is being reproduced in other parts of the world. The ultimate vision is one of a global carbon market leading to a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and thus mitigating the impact of climate change.

The EU climate policy also includes other aspects such as the development of renewable energies and the reduction of energy demand through energy efficiency, which have gained importance in the last years.

The course will aim at presenting the evolution of EU climate policy, with the birth and growth of the ETS, the role of renewable energies and energy efficiency and the place of the EU on the international arena when it comes to climate negotiations.

Duration (hours)