Biofuelling the energy transition in Nordic countries: Explaining overachievement of EU renewable transport obligations

International Environmental Agreements, published online 04.10.2022, 18 p. DOI: 10.1007/s10784-022-09587-2

Following the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive, Finland, Norway and Sweden have overachieved their 10% renewable transport fuel obligations by 2020, mainly by increasing biofuel consumption. This seems puzzling from explanatory perspectives focused on EU adaptation pressure and changes in domestic politics. These perspectives can partly explain implementation, but the policy context—actual and potential biofuel industry development and ‘green growth’ opportunities—appears central for explaining overachievement of EU obligations. Moreover, the composition and explanatory power of the three perspectives difer. In Norway, the combination of EU adaptation pressure, changes in domestic politics and potential industry development promoted overachievement; by contrast, actual industry development and supportive domestic politics, as well as new opportunities from EU policies, proved more important in Sweden and Finland. These fndings speak to the literature on EU implementation, energy policies and leadership.