Report: Climate Change Aims Need To Be Better Integrated Into Land Use Planning, Economic and Transport Policies
29 March 2009
|The policy levels at which climate policy integration may take place. Source: Mickwitz et al. (2009) Click to enlarge.|
Specific measures to tackle climate change, such as emissions trading, will only be successful if they are coherently supported by other government policies addressing economic and social issues, according to a report published 26 March by the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER).
The report explains that, in order to create an effective, Europe-wide climate policy, climate change issues must be better integrated into both general and sector-specific policies such as taxation, transportation, and land use planning. By doing this the necessary changes in production processes and consumption patterns to tackle climate change will be achieved.
Although the inclusion of climate change mitigation and adaptation in general governmental programmes and strategies has substantially increased in recent years, much more is needed in terms of integrating climate issues into specific policy measures. Annual budgets, environmental impact assessments and spatial planning procedures are three examples of existing measures which we believe have significant potential to be climate policy instruments.—lead author, Dr. Per Mickwitz, from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
The new report assesses the degree of climate policy integration in six different European countries, at national and local levels, as well as within key policy sectors such as energy and transport. It analyses measures and means to enhance climate policy integration and improve policy coherence.
The report shows that when climate policy is integrated into an increasing number of policy sectors such as energy, transport and land use, many latent conflicts are reopened. These include conflicts over nuclear power, taxation, hydro power, mobility and other issues involving values and ideology. If such conflicts are not recognized early they provide a barrier to effective climate policy integration.
It is becoming evident to politicians as well as the general public that if high consumption societies are going to tackle climate change, significant changes in production as well as consumption processes will be required. These changes will concern fundamental features of life, such as food, energy, mobility and land use. The relevance of climate policy integration is thus straightforward; the necessary change cannot be achieved unless climate change is taken into account in the general and sector-specific policies essential for economic activities and general social organization.
Whilst the need for climate policy integration is easy to recognize, attaining it in practice is challenging. In addition, promoting policy integration instead of issue specific policies is also an old way resisting change, by diffusing attention and by making the means and resources for policy implementation weak, while declaring support for change through proclaimed integration. There is a huge need to evaluate stated climate policy integration claims and to extend such evaluation from general strategies to specific actions.
...Effective climate policy integration will require sufficient resources in the form of knowledge and money. Without these resources, there will be no realistic possibility of truly recognizing the links between general or sectoral policies and climate change or of finding alternatives and implement them. Given the great complexity of the socio-economic processes that result in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as those of adapting to a changing climate, policies need to be based on learning.
In order to provide the basis for such a reflexive climate policy integration, interventions should be monitored, proposed interventions should be assessed and retrospective evaluations of decisions made and implemented should be conducted. In view of the meagre culture of environmental policy and programme evaluation in Europe, providing the input for such a learning process is a huge challenge.—Mickwitz et al. (2009)
Mickwitz, P et al. (2009). Climate policy integration, coherence and governance. PEER report no 2. Partnership for European Environmental Research, Helsinki.
"The relevance of climate policy integration is thus straightforward; the necessary change cannot be achieved unless climate change is taken into account in the general and sector-specific policies essential for economic activities and general social organization."
Except that human activities have little or no effect on climate. And "climate change" is always happening and always will.
Posted by: sulleny | 29 March 2009 at 10:21 AM
The countries that use the most fossil fuel per person are the best candidates to help out with fossil fuel usage...period. Leave it at that and do not try to mix in other issues.
Fossil fuels are finite and that should be obvious to everyone. There is only so much in the ground and we are extracting and burning it like mad men. Let's get a handle on this situation before it leads to more wars and destruction.
Posted by: SJC | 29 March 2009 at 11:15 AM
These folks aren't content unless they do social engineering. Indeed they will never stop until they can completely control every aspect of our lives.
Posted by: Mannstein | 29 March 2009 at 11:35 AM
"control every aspect of our lives" come on guy, 80% of your mobility could be meet with a bike, not only you would reduce america foreign oil addiction but also reduce your carbon footprint and dramatically slash your risk of heart disease. Think upright bikes are uncomfortable, then go for a recumbent, they are more confortable, faster since more aero and much safer and don't require more energy to move at 15MPH than sitting at a Cafe drinking your favorite beer.
Posted by: Treehugger | 29 March 2009 at 01:43 PM
"These folks aren't content unless they do social engineering. Indeed they will never stop until they can completely control every aspect of our lives."
What I find controlling is how our cities, at all taxpayers' expense, for the benefit of lazy motorist, have been designed around the car to make it dangerous and difficult to commute by bike in all except the most progressive cities.
It would seem to me that establishing realistic cycling and transit networks to be on a par with roads is anything but controlling.
Posted by: Mark_BC | 29 March 2009 at 02:50 PM
"our cities, at all taxpayers' expense, for the benefit of lazy motorist, have been designed around the car to make it dangerous and difficult to commute by bike."
Yes. Take Paris for example (and consequently Washington DC) - it's modern layout designed circa 1850 by Baron Haussmann, under the direction of Napoleon III, clearly envisioned the automobile and not the bicycle as the predominate mode of transport. The fact the modern automobile would not be invented for another 50 years is of no matter.
There is of course one way to correct the bicyclist/pedestrian safety issues: make motorists and their insurance companies pay until the pain breaks their scurrilous habits.
Posted by: sulleny | 29 March 2009 at 07:10 PM
You are even more right than you think, I am a biker and recently I got a ticket because I turn on right against a STOP without fully stoping, and I recently realized that here in California a lot of light an secondary road only turn green when they detect ... a car, which as cyclist you can stay stuck for ever, and if you want to turn left your are in the middle of the road and you can't reach the pedestrian button. This is really unfair for biker
Posted by: Treehugger | 29 March 2009 at 09:34 PM
Taking action to stop global warming is not about losing your freedom, it is about saving our species.
The problem IS a human problem and it can be solved by people.
Posted by: vv-tec.com | 29 March 2009 at 10:17 PM
Ok, we get that sulleny and others here prefer to disbelieve in AGW. Fine. But if you're not going to contribute anything useful to the discussion why bother with the same old crap every post that happens to mention climate change. Instead of actually getting to discuss the merits of the posts, the comments section is always the same old, "AGW is a lie to enrich scientists and Al Gore is fat". I'm sure there are other places on the internet where you can act like children (Failblog comes to mind, or if you really want to convince the right people of your arguments, head over to RealClimate or DeSmogBlog and argue with climate scientists), so please, a little respect for the work of GCC for a change and give your opinions on topics you know something about.
Posted by: drivin98 | 30 March 2009 at 02:30 AM
Inept land use planning has resulted in car-dependent sprawl, so land use planning clearly needs to change in order for the US (and other countries) to avoid dire economic consequences after Peak Oil. The sad part is many of those who move to exurbia believe they need SUVs in order to traverse the outlying roads that are the last to be cleared.
Many parts of Europe have clearly marked town and city boundaries, where agriculture starts right at the edge of those boundaries. Few places in the US are doing so (Portland is one of the few), and farmland gets steadily replaced by increasingly distant housing tracts, fed by long, congested roadways that are bumper to bumper during rush hour.
Posted by: Will S | 30 March 2009 at 06:00 AM
I would like to second drivin98's comment. Well said.
I miss the days when Rafael posted.
Posted by: Giant | 30 March 2009 at 06:38 PM