Behind the EU’s energy-climate policy conundrum: Erroneous power toolbox, deadlocks and the way forward

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Abstract

This article discusses EU energy and climate policy through the prism of multidimensional power. In so doing, it explores the forms of power EU policy draws from and employs. The article argues that through its gas first policy the EU misused its productive power and failed to shift structural power dynamics, while overplaying its institutional and compulsory power to fulfil its energy/climate goals despite the EU's obvious limitations in the former and impotence in the latter. This mismatch between means and goals points to the need for an alternative power toolbox. This consists in the exercise of productive power to signify clean energy as the new normal; the use of coercive structural and market power to shape and regulate clean energy markets and the increased use of institutional power deriving from a comprehensive energy transition. This power toolbox relaxes the shortcomings of the EU's gas first policy, cements EU energy security and supports the global uptake of transitions to renewable energy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-418
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Productive power
  • gas
  • renewables
  • energy security
  • energy transition
  • climate change

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