Chapter

Climate policy and the social investment approach: towards a European model for sustainable development

Edited by Lena Sommestad

in Towards A Social Investment Welfare State?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847429247
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305613 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847429247.003.0012
Climate policy and the social investment approach: towards a European model for sustainable development

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This chapter tests the idea of connecting climate policies and the social investment approach in order to elaborate a European Model for Sustainable Development. It argues that the success of EU climate policies, which have hitherto been largely unrelated to social policy, will be strongly dependent on social policy design. They have been designed in favour of liberalized energy markets, based on market-related policy instruments and limited state intervention. But these neoliberal EU climate policies are viewed with growing discontent. Problems identified include volatile energy prices, lack of investment in low-carbon energy and ‘fuel poverty’. The chapter argues that income redistribution and appropriate employment policies to re-skill the labour force in order to respond to the needs of a low-carbon economy are crucial elements for successful climate change mitigation. It then discusses the likelihood of a policy shift in the EU towards a paradigm for sustainable development. By providing a coherent approach to climate policy and social policy, the sustainable development paradigm carries the potential to strengthen the social investment approach and improve social policy design in support of climate change mitigation.

Keywords: climate change; social investment; social policy; sustainable development; EU climate policies; low-carbon economy; EU energy policy

Chapter.  8850 words.  Illustrated.

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