The role of social science and governance research in the EU’s climate transition

Wednesday 06 October 2021, 11:30 to 12:30

GOVTRAN network final event series keynote

Keynote by Professor Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency

While the role and importance of science and expertise for the climate transition in general is well established, this seems to relate in particular to the natural sciences and, to some extent, to economics. Whereas natural sciences and related modelling are the primary point of reference for assessing the ambition of climate mitigation, economics and related modelling of costs and benefits are in particular listened to when it comes to assessing potential policy responses. In contrast, social science research in general and research on the governance of the climate transition in particular (exploring issues such as participation in the decision-making process and the effectiveness of the mix of applicable policy instruments, among others) seems much less prominent in related debates. What can and should be the role of such research in the public debate and in policy-making processes? Does research need to adapt? How could the link between relevant research and policy making be strengthened?


  • Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency


  • Jale Tosun, Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University


  • Sebastian Oberthür, Director of the Centre for Environment, Economy and Energy, Brussels School of Governance – Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Professor of Environmental Policy and Law at the Centre for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law at the University of Eastern Finland

The event took place in a hybrid format, please find the recording below:

With the support of: