Inside the black box: EU policy officers' perspectives on transport and climate change mitigation

Gössling, Stefan, Cohen, Scott Allen and Hares, Andrew (2016) Inside the black box: EU policy officers' perspectives on transport and climate change mitigation. Journal of Transport Geography, 57. pp. 83-93. ISSN 0966 - 6923

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Abstract Transport is a significant and growing contributor to climate change. To stay within ‘safe’ global warming guardrails requires substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This represents a global political consensus, but there is evidence that current legislation in the transport sector is not significant enough to achieve medium- and longer-term reduction goals. In focusing on the European Union, this paper investigates the perspectives of twelve policy officers in three Directorates-General (MOVE, CLIMA, ENV) of the European Commission with regard to their understanding of mitigation goals and timelines, responsibilities for policy development and implementation, and perceived efficiencies of these policies to achieve climate objectives in the transport sector. Results indicate diverging and common views on climate policy goals and political responsibilities, as well as barriers to policy-making, including lack of political leadership on climate change mitigation, resistance from member states, the favoring of economic growth over cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, pressure from industry and lobby groups, preferential treatment of aero- and automobility over more sustainable transport modes, policy implementation delays, insufficient forecasting and monitoring tools, and an overreliance on technologies to contribute to emission reductions. In offering a view inside the ‘black box’ of transport policy-making, the paper reveals fundamental institutional (structural) and individual (agency-based) barriers that will have to be overcome if significant emission cuts in the transport sector are to be achieved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Climate change, Climate policy, Directorate generals, European Union, Governance, Policy, Transport
Divisions: ?? BucksNewUniversity ??
Depositing User: J McPeak
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2017 10:50
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 12:17

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