Implementing Europe’s climate targets at the regional level
Climate Policy 12, 1–23 , 4/2012
Having agreed upon a binding emissions reduction path by 2020, the EU plays a leading role in international climate policy. The EU currently pursues a dual approach through an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at the EU level and also via national targets in sectors not covered by the ETS. The latter include the buildings sector, transportation, agriculture, and waste. Emissions from these sectors are mainly subject to policies at provincial and local levels. A method is presented for elaborating and implementing a long-term climate policy process up to 2030 for the regional (provincial) level. Building on regional GHG inventory data, a set of indicators for each sector is developed in order to arrive at a target path consistent with the deduced regional GHG reduction requirement. Policy measures and their implementation are then settled subsequent to this process. Quantitative regional targets are found to be a prerequisite for the formation of regional climate policy as they increase participant responsibility and commitment. A five-step process of stakeholder participation ensures effective implementation of regional climate action plans. Insights from an exemplary European region are drawn upon, and policy issues are discussed in both quantitative and institutional terms.
Keywords: climate targets, GHG reductions, indicators, low-carbon society, policy options, stakeholder participation/engagement