In the wake of the Copenhagen climate summit, momentum remains for the development of the EU’s climate policy. The EU’s climate narrative is increasingly shifting towards an emphasis on long-term self-interest, while the international context recedes.
Finding the consensus within the EU remains a challenge. In particular, the Central and Eastern European Member States have traditionally formed an important part of a more moderate block in EU climate politics.
If the EU is to increase its 2020 emissions target, strategies will need to be developed to more explicitly integrate the concerns and interests of CEE Member States into the EU’s climate narrative and concrete policy.
In order to generate broader buy-in among EU Member States, climate policy should be more explicitly linked to overlapping, and immediately desirable, policy agendas.
In addition, the issues of low-carbon financing; energy security and key low-carbon technologies provide opportunities to more strongly address the interests of CEE Member States, as policy milestones are pending in these areas in 2010 and 2011.
The approach should not entail horse trading among unrelated issues, but rather greater strategic coordination of EU climate, energy and cohesion policy based on the goals of the 2020 Strategy. If low-carbon growth is to become a linchpin of the EU’s economic strategy, it follows that this agenda should also be more strongly integrated into EU cohesion policy.