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Examines the efficiency of climate acts

Published: 9 January 2017

Today, five European countries have introduced climate acts. But the question is whether climate acts can help to mitigate climate change? Researchers in political science at Luleå University of Technology will examine this.

– Climate acts are a new way to deal with climate change, both in Sweden and in the EU. However, no one knows how efficient such acts are, and under what circumstances they actually lead to improvements in climate policy. Therefore, our research is important, says Charlotta Söderberg, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Luleå University of Technology.

The United Kingdom introduced a Climate Act in 2008. Since then, more countries have followed in the same footsteps and Sweden is one of the countries about to introduce a climate act. Charlotta Söderberg and Simon Matti, Associate Professor of Political Science, will now develop an analytical framework for how these acts can be studied and then evaluate and compare existing climate acts in different countries.

– We will develop an analytical tool that is completely lacking today, says Charlotta Söderberg.

The research results will be important for Sweden when introducing climate legislation. General knowledge will also be created for all who work with climate legislation in other countries and at EU level.

Can achieve sustainability in an unpredictable world

The introduction of climate acts is about creating stability in climate policy and make it persist across changes of government.

– A policy is relatively easy to change when a government changes, but a law is not shifted as easily. The climate issue is a lot about getting individuals and companies to change their behaviour and consumption/production patterns, but they dare not do that if politics can suddenly change. Climate acts are a way to achieve sustainability and predictability in an unpredictable world, says Charlotta Söderberg.

What is a climate act?

– A climate act control the government's climate work by regulating the various processes, and/or by adjusting the results to be achieved and when, says Simon Matti.