In 2007, the European Council decided to reduce EU GHG emissions by 20% of the 1990 level by 2020. The key challenge for the EU is now to adopt and implement effective policies and measures capable of attaining this goal. EU goals and policies will have significant consequences for Norway affiliated through the EEA-agreement.

In December 2008, the EU acted upon this challenge by adopting the energy and climate package compromise, combining significantly different energy-economic interests by mandatory policies covering different sectors. The package represents a fundamentally new approach to collective EU decision-making and implementation, based as it is on thorough economic impact assessment. Further development and implementation of the package will, however, also depend significantly on political factors: how has the EU been able to balance the need for an ambitious package with legitimacy based on acceptance among public and private actors? This question is crucial for the future implementation of the package compromise, and is the background for this project proposal.

The EU energy and climate package compromise is not carved in stone. Changes have already been announced as a response to the possibility of an adequate international climate agreement. The package also contains elements that are still being negotiated and likely to change regardless of international developments. This obviously could have repercussions for the package compromise and for what goals and measures member states and Norway will eventually have to implement. The project will provide knowledge on how Norway is affected by the evolving package and lessons from implementation in Norway and other countries that are part of or immediately surrounding the Nordic energy market area, a crucial background factor for Norwegian energy and climate policies.

The project is divided in three parts: analysis of the 2008 package compromise; analysis of changes in the EU energy and climate package compromise after 2008; and implementation of the package in Norway and different member states.

Project period: 2010-2014



  • Research Council of Norway (RENERGI Programme)