EU climate and energy governance in times of crisis

Ingmar von Homeyer, Sebastian Oberthür & Andrew J. Jordan (2021)

EU climate and energy governance in times of crisis: towards a new agenda, Journal of European Public Policy, 28:7, 959-979, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2021.1918221


The EU has long pursued relatively ambitious climate and energy policies, often against the backdrop of what has been termed the EU ‘polycrisis’. This paper introduces a special issue which seeks to develop a better understanding of why, how and with which consequences the polycrisis and EU climate and energy governance have influenced each other. It draws on a novel framework of five broad crisis trends underlying the polycrisis. Most of the contributions suggest that EU climate and energy governance have advanced significantly despite, and sometimes even because of, the crisis trends. The countervailing effects of the trends and the effectiveness of actors’ strategies to advance EU policy against opponents go a long way to explaining this puzzling finding. As the EU seeks to fully decarbonise itself by 2050, interactions with the crisis trends are likely to intensify in ways which future research could fruitfully investigate.