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Journal Article

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


Leipprand,  Anna
External Organizations;

Flachsland,  Christian
External Organizations;


Pahle,  Michael
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Leipprand, A., Flachsland, C., Pahle, M. (2020): Starting low, reaching high? Sequencing in EU climate and energy policies. - Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 37, 140-155.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_24554
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.