Context and issues

The European Union has been a long-time leader both on climate and energy. It remains a critical player to finalize the Paris ‘rulebook’ and to ensure it follows through on its promises. Under the 2020 Climate and Energy Package, the EU has built a relatively elaborate framework for governing the low carbon transition.

This framework includes many instruments, ranging from legal instruments that place absolute limits on Union-wide emissions as well as more sector-specific directives and regulations, which aim to promote incremental but continued progress throughout the Union in key vectors of the transition.

Although this so called “acquis” has demonstrated some results, it faces new challenges as the transition towards a decarbonised European economy deepens and becomes more transformative for member states in order to implement the Paris Agreement.

This project seeks to address these challenges and to identify opportunities for both national and EU-level governance of climate and energy policy to adapt and become 'Paris-compatible'.


The project aims at strengthening the capacity of the European Union and its Member States to implement the Paris Agreement through better climate and energy governance systems. More specifically, at EU level:

  • to perform a diagnosis of the current state of EU governance for climate
  •  to offer a vision on how to rethink EU climate governance, addressing the identified gaps and inconsistencies
  • to hold dialogues on cross-cutting issues such as the long-term strategy and pathways approach or the role of non-State actors for example
  • to disseminate key findings and organise outreach activities

 at national level :

  •  to cooperate with other research institutes on the institutional, legal and political specificities of the respective domestic experiences in France, the UK, Germany (after developing a common methodology and approach in order to frame the analysis)
  •  to identify similarities/differences in national approaches (in particular through the organisation of a cross-learning workshop and corresponding publication) as a way to identify the benefits of designing national climate legislations and to demonstrate the importance of long-term perspective in setting up short-term governance
  • to disseminate key findings and to engage other national governments or influential domestic actors in other key member states to foster a national debate on their transition and the potential pathways to achieve it