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Journal Article

Measuring and explaining the EU’s effect on national climate performance


Avrami,  Lydia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Sprinz,  Detlef F.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Avrami, L., Sprinz, D. F. (2019): Measuring and explaining the EU’s effect on national climate performance. - Environmental Politics, 28, 5, 822-846.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_22583
To what extent has the European Union (EU) had a benign or retarding effect on what its member states would have undertaken in the absence of EU climate policies during 2008–2012? A measurement tool for the EU policy’s effect is developed and shows a benign average EU effect with considerable variation across countries. The EU’s policy effectiveness vis-à-vis its member states is explained by the EU’s non-compliance mechanism, the degree of usage of the Kyoto flexible mechanisms, and national pre-Kyoto emission reduction goals. Time-series cross-sectional analyses show that the EU’s non-compliance mechanism has no effect, while the ex-ante plans for using Kyoto flexible mechanisms and/or the ambitious pre-Kyoto emission reduction targets allow member states to escape constraints imposed by EU climate policy.