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A novel idea : the role of the Temporary Committee on Climate Change in the European Parliament and the… Stockman, Christian 2009

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A NOVEL IDEA: THE ROLE OF THE TEMPORARY COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE EUROPEAN UNION by CHRISTIAN STOCKMAN B.A. (Hons.), University of Guelph, 2006  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (European Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October 2009 © Christian Stockman, 2009  ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on Climate Change and its function as a political actor in the context of European governance. It illuminates the role of the Committee as a policy-shaping instrument vis-à-vis standing parliamentary committees and elaborates on the significance of its actorness within the EU. The CLIM Committee’s unique horizontal mandate, ability to cut across typical institutional boundaries and considerable influence allowed it to achieve its political objectives. A discussion about CLIM’s creation is presented in the context of institutional spillover, as a dominant aspect of the neo-functional theoretical framework of European integration. An examination of the organization and structure of EP’s committee system as well as the EP’s position in the EU provides a foundation for analysis and evaluation of its accomplishments. The dialogue surrounding the publication of CLIM’s groundbreaking final report also helps to shed light on how the Committee greatly influenced climate change policy in the EU. In addition, CLIM’s innovative structure and operation fostered cooperation between committees that was previously unheard of. This resulted in a new paradigm for information gathering and the addressing of multidisciplinary issues such as climate change that can only be tackled on a supranational plane.     ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ............................................................................................................................ ii Table of Contents............................................................................................................. iii List of Abbreviations .........................................................................................................iv Acknowledgments .............................................................................................................v Preface..............................................................................................................................vi Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 1 Chapter One: A Changing Climate.................................................................................... 5 The Problems of Politicizing Climate Change........................................................................ 5 Climate Change Strategies in the EU ..................................................................................... 8  Chapter Two: Causal Stories ........................................................................................... 11 Liberal Intergovernmentalism.............................................................................................. 13 Neo-functionalism .............................................................................................................. 14 The EU as a Neo-functional Actor....................................................................................... 18  Chapter Three: Committee Conundrum .......................................................................... 21 The EP and Environmental Policy-making: The Influence of Supranational Party Cohesion . 22 The Committee System in the EP: Why was CLIM temporary?............................................. 24 A Horizontal Mandate ........................................................................................................ 29 The Committee in Perspective............................................................................................. 36  Chapter Four: Reportage ................................................................................................. 38 The Future Begins Today..................................................................................................... 38 Reactions to the Report ....................................................................................................... 40 CLIM vs. CARE.................................................................................................................... 42  Chapter Five: Future Innovations..................................................................................... 45 CLIM’s Impact on EP Reforms ............................................................................................. 45 The Role of European Public Opinion................................................................................. 48 The Future of EU Environmental Policy............................................................................... 50  Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 54 Works Cited.................................................................................................................... 58 Appendix ........................................................................................................................ 65 Ethics Approval Certificate .................................................................................................. 66     iii  LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AGRI ALDE BUDG CARE CLIM CO2 DEVE DG EEA EC ECCP ECON ECSC EEC ENVI EP EPP-ED EU EU ETS G-EFA GUE/NGL ID IPCC ITRE MEP NGOs NI PECH PES SEA TDIP TRAN UEN UNEP UNFCCC  
  Agriculture and Rural Development Committee Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Committee on Budgets Climate Action and Renewable Energy Legislative Package Temporary Committee on Climate Change Carbon Dioxide Development Committee Directorate General European Environment Agency European Community European Climate Change Programme Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs European Coal and Steel Community European Economic Community Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee European Parliament Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats European Union European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left Independence and Democracy Group Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Industry, Research and Energy Committee Member of European Parliament Non-governmental organizations Non-inscrit (non-attached) Fisheries Committee Group of the Party of European Socialists Single European Act Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners Committee on Transport and Tourism Union for the Europe of Nations Group United Nations Environment Programme United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  iv  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This thesis is the product of months of work and would not have been possible without the encouragement of a number of people. First and foremost, I would must express my deep gratitude and sincere appreciation to my thesis committee: Yves Tiberghien, who helped to direct and narrow my focus even from the far ends of the earth; and Ljiljana Biukovic, for her attention to detail and willingness to take on duties as a second reader, even with relatively short notice. Their energy and contributions greatly enhanced the quality of this thesis. I am very thankful the support provided by Kurt Huebner and the Institute for European Studies, for giving me the opportunity to set my M.A. in motion, facilitating my stay at the University of British Columbia and helping me to secure the internship in Brussels that allowed me to stumble upon this topic. A special thank you goes to Josiane Rivière and Johannes Schilling, my (former) colleagues at the EEA, for their hospitality, guidance and insights into European politics over countless cups of coffee. I am also grateful to the office of Karl-Heinz Florenz, MEP, for providing a behind-the-scenes perspective of the CLIM Committee’s role in the European Parliament. This thesis could not have been written without the love and support of family and friends. I am especially thankful to Jennifer Giesbrecht, for her sharp eye for a well-written manuscript and understanding of my quirks. I am most deeply indebted (literally and figuratively) to my parents, Ken and Ursula, for their inspiration, guidance and wisdom, and to Karoline and Kenny, for their unwavering support throughout the years. Graduate studies can prove to be an exhaustive and lonely undertaking. For sharing in this experience, lending an ear, and providing invaluable suggestions to improve me writing, I am thankful to have colleagues like Sara Hall and Margery Pazdor. Last but not least, to John Pratschke, whose Introduction to European Integration class many years ago started the chain of events that led me to where I am today. Thank you!  v  PREFACE Climate change is an unintended side effect of modern social development and at the same time poses the greatest long-term threat to it. This insight was disputed by influential circles until a short time ago, but recent scientific studies have proven the anthropogenic disturbance of the Earth's atmosphere beyond doubt, and have shown the extent of the damage to be expected to the natural environment and civilization if no counteractive measures are undertaken. Prof. Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research  Before the advent of the Internet age, climate change was taught mainly in the context of global warming, which showed how the sun warms the earth and the so-called “greenhouse effect” keeps the earth insulated. More recently, these science lessons have been augmented to include an explanation of anthropogenic causes, and show us that climate change will over the course of the coming decades have more direct impact on people worldwide than any other natural phenomenon. It is said that without a stable climate, life on the planet will change dramatically. Aside from rising sea levels and widespread species extinction, the human race will ostensibly face considerable hardships. Left unchecked, climate change will lead to worldwide resource scarcity, increased conflict, greater numbers of refugees and widespread migration. Together, this will result in a general decrease in development and, perhaps more importantly, catastrophic and possibly irreversible changes to the Earth. Because these consequences will be most dire for the coming generations we are left with a choice: act now or do nothing. Fortunately, world has changed dramatically in the past decades. Gone are the days when the environment was the domain of green politicians, hippies, eccentrics and Scandinavians. We live in a time of increased public awareness and activism, where it has become nearly impossible to hide behind the fact that climate change is a topic of great political significance. The environment is increasingly ranked among the top political issues in national polls conducted amongst the general public. It has also recently begun to figure prominently in the campaign promises of politicians in the United States, the EU and around the world. Countless organizations and individuals have dedicated their time to researching, writing, educating and informing the public about the dangers of anthropogenic climate change and what they can do about it. Climate change has had an active voice through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization responsible for the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the oft-maligned Kyoto Protocol. Several European Union (EU) Member States have taken to creating ministerial postings to deal with the topic in recent years and the European Parliament (EP) established a Temporary Committee on Climate Change (CLIM) to help push for an integrated EU effort to combat it. The science behind global warming has also become much more deeply entrenched in popular culture thanks to the vi  Internet, blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow and documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth. The latter film in particular does an excellent job of simplifying the arguments surrounding the climate change debate, and helped spur my engagement with the issue. As an intern for the European Environment Agency (EEA), I regularly attended CLIM Committee meetings when the EP met in Brussels. It was during my time in the European capital in late 2008 that the idea was conceived for me to do my graduate thesis on the activities and significance of the Committee. To be sure, I had never considered climate change as a feasible research topic. My interests in the subject had always been more practical than theoretical, related to personal efforts to promote a “green” lifestyle rather than a deliberate act to research environmental politics (not to mention I also had little desire to work with statistics and even more complex scientific concepts). Having spent six months working in Europe on environmental policy issues, however, I became much more aware of the growing political importance of climate change and even came to enjoy working on topics such as renewable energy and sustainability. Upon returning home to Vancouver, I realized that my internship had given my academic work some direction, though it took some time before I was actually able to mould all that I had learned in Europe into a viable research project focused on the actorness of the CLIM Committee. The topic has spawned far more questions than answers, and the relatively limited availability of concrete data in this field has also proven to be a challenge. Though climate change is a fairly broad-based research topic, I hope that I will be able to shed some light on a controversial issue and one way it has been addressed. It is my hope that this thesis will generate interest amongst scholars and policy makers around the world, and lead to further research on the topics of climate change, novel actors and parliamentary politics. Vancouver, October 1, 2009  vii  INTRODUCTION Novel actors1 play an important role in the European Union’s (EU) governance processes, particularly in the European Parliament (EP), where they often take the form of temporary committees. In its struggle to manage its ever-growing workload, the EP has launched seven temporary committees over the past twelve years.2 Temporary Committees have become a means of tackling a burgeoning number of specific issues that cover multiple policy areas, handling issues that are deemed to be complex and contentious, and cannot be competently managed by a single standing committee. They are significant because they tackle controversial or otherwise high profile subjects that are often unique, timely or urgent. In the past this has included such policy issues as mad-cow disease, the global war on terror, the EU’s eastern enlargement and, most recently, climate change. The Temporary Committee on Climate Change (the so-called CLIM3 Committee) is the most recent example. The growing relevance of climate change policy has caused such novel actors to become more and more relevant throughout the EU as policy drivers in both national and supranational contexts. The CLIM Committee’s work had far-reaching consequences that permeated European politics in often indirect but nonetheless significant ways. Although temporary Committees have existed before, the approach and methodology of the CLIM Committee was revolutionary. Of particular interest is the way in which it projected a horizontal approach through its work programme, cutting across a variety of legislative topics and established committees.4 Much like any other parliamentary committees, CLIM                                                          1  In politics, actors typically take on the form of a state, an organization or an individual. Novel actors are differentiated by the innovations that they bring into these roles. There are currently no generally accepted criteria that can be used to classify a particular actor as “novel.” Indeed, any attempt to distinguish a novel actor empirically would be a highly subjective undertaking, as perceptions about the significance of a novel actor’s role, scope of its powers and its policy innovations can vary widely. Examining novel actors in the international sphere might be one way of better defining them, but there are many ways of doing this. AnneMarie Slaughter, for example, sees the international system as one of networks, with governments acting as regulatory agents. In A New World Order, she argues that these networks are a source of “soft law” and where information leads to policy convergence. See Slaughter 24, Jupille and Ginsberg. 2 These have included the Temporary Committee on Alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners, Temporary Committee on Policy Challenges and Budgetary Means of the Enlarged Union 2007-2013, Temporary Committee on Improving Safety at Sea, Temporary Committee on Foot and Mouth Disease and the Temporary Committee on Human Genetics and other New Technologies of Modern Medicine. For further information about these committees, see “Former.” 3 Each EP Committee in the parliament receives a four-letter administrative designation. CLIM is the four-letter designation for the Temporary Committee on Climate Change. 4 In many governments, actions are taken on a vertical level, in which leaders make decisions exclusive of the input of others and then communicate their decisions to those subordinate to them (this is also called top-down decision making). In contrast, a horizontal approach is much more inclusive of other interests, and does not rely solely on decisions of a single individual or leader. In the case     1  was able to transcend party lines and engage a multitude of stakeholders. CLIM’s mandate allowed it to effectively research and propose recommendations affecting many of the policy areas related to the climate change debate. This included topics such as energy, industry, the environment and transportation, which are all normally discussed by standing committees. What made CLIM unique, however, was its to ability to use this ability to cut across policy areas to become the leading authority on climate change in the EP and foster greater levels of cooperation between committees and MEPs. A temporary committee had never before wielded such power, nor had the established committees worked so effectively with one another.5 The Committee’s formation in 2007 also came at an important time for European environmental politics. At the time, the European Commission had already implemented a number of Directives and Communications on the subject and was waging an extensive public relations campaign to inform the general public about the issue. CLIM’s existence further heightened the publicity surrounding the climate change debate in Europe, thus ensuring that the Commission’s initiatives received even more attention that they otherwise would have. Most importantly, after nearly two years of concerted effort, CLIM issued a final report entitled “2050: The Future Begins Today,” which was subsequently unanimously adopted by the EP. The report makes recommendations for the European Union’s future integrated policy on climate change and sets out the EP’s position leading up to negotiations for a highly anticipated post-2012 international treaty. The CLIM Committee’s significance poses a number of theoretical and practical questions with regard to its special function, impact and legacy within the EU framework. Why did the EP decide to take the unusual step to set up such an innovative and, as it turned out, highly important institution? Putting together the pieces of the political puzzle surrounding the Committee’s existence is crucial in order to then determine what influence it had, and what this has meant for the EU more generally. A fundamental understanding of the causal factors can then help to determine how the Committee impacted policy decisions. This, in turn, brings about a number of additional questions. Why was the CLIM Committee so politically dominant? More importantly, what can the                                                                                                                                                                                     of the EU, the “vertical” argument would say that Member States could be said to be giving up their sovereignty and letting a supranational actor make decisions. The “horizontal” argument, in contrast, would state that Member States are equal with the EU, 5 Florenz “Interview.”     2  Committee’s existence tell us about innovations within the framework of EU governance? These questions are multifaceted, requiring a critical and in-depth analysis of the Temporary Committee’s inner workings as well as the policymaking processes of the EP within the context of EU governance. This thesis undertakes an in-depth examination of the CLIM Committee and the governance processes at work in the EP in order to shed light on its role as a novel actor and discover what influences EU policies. It introduces readers to the extensive political debate surrounding climate change as well as the construction of a theoretical foundation that explains the causal story behind a temporary committee’s creation. Using the dominant neo-functional narrative of European integration as a foundation, it attempts to shed light on CLIM’s emergence and development as a novel actor; it contends that the most holistic explanation of the Committee’s power is best described as one of institutional spillover. An unravelling of the CLIM Committee’s mandate helps to more easily situate it within the existing frameworks of European governance and scrutinize it in the context of European parliamentary procedure, helping to position it within the neofunctional interpretation of European integration. While this work does not attempt to establish an entirely new framework (or elaborate extensively on the neofunctional paradigm), it does attempt to lay a foundation for future arguments in this direction under the pretence that the CLIM Committee’s work falls within an area of institutional spillover and supranational actorness that has hitherto remained unexplored by academics. More practically, this thesis argues that the EP has increasingly used its political capacity to innovate, in this case by introducing a new novel political actor: a powerful temporary committee comprised of representatives from multiple disciplines and with the capacity to seriously influence policy. Several examples call attention to particular contributions by the Committee and provide depth and detail to the causal narrative. Most importantly, this thesis demonstrates that interdisciplinary temporary committees, as a new form of novel actor, can have considerable political impact, be a useful means of tackling specific transversal issues and bring about decisive policy changes. In sum, this work shows that the CLIM was a highly influential contributor to the development of climate change policy in the EU as well as a new an innovative form of political actor.     3  This thesis is organized as follows: Chapter One provides a background to the debate surrounding climate change. It focuses on the problematic of politicizing climate change and discusses some of the complexities encountered by politicians who are charged with solving it. Chapter Two introduces the theories of liberal intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism and elucidates the argument that institutional spillover in the neo-functional context provides the most compelling causal narrative for CLIM’s existence. Chapter Three introduces the role of the CLIM Committee as an actor, focusing on its functions within the EP. Chapter Four delves deeper into the Committee’s work in the context of the EU political arena and determines the type and scope of impact it had. Chapter Five discusses the CLIM Committee’s successes and failures as well as its influence on future EU climate change policy. The final section draws conclusions about the theoretical framework surrounding the formation of the CLIM Committee, the impact the CLIM Committee had on policy-making in the EP and the EU and places the Committee into the broader political context, elaborating on the significance of novel actors and their effects on governance processes.     4  CHAPTER 1  A CHANGING CLIMATE Climate change has gained notoriety as one the most widely politicized problems facing the world today. Yet, for a variety of reasons, the issue has also been one of the most difficult for governments to act upon. In some circles continues to be widespread disagreement about the exact causes of climate change. A great many factors influence the changing of the earth’s climate, including the earth’s natural processes, the drifting of continental plates, volcanism and shifting ocean currents, as well as variations in the earth’s orbit and changes in energy output of the sun.6 These dynamic processes occur over millennia and are not easy to spot over the course of months, years or even a typical human lifespan. The relatively slow processes at work in the natural world are only part of the reasons for climate change; human activities are also to blame. In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded with “very high confidence” that climate change since 1750 has been caused primarily by human activity resulting in the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere.7 To derive their conclusions, scientists studying the subject have relied on sea-level measurements, changes to glacial geology and analyses of core samples drilled deep into ancient ice shelves. Other long-range indicators that have proven useful are tree-ring growth statistics and the spread of certain types of vegetation, pollen and insects over the centuries.8 The development of this scientific consensus based on the IPCC report paints a very grim picture for the Earth and its inhabitants.  The Problems of Politicizing Climate Change In spite of the scientific evidence in support of the anthropogenic climate change hypothesis, not everyone is convinced by the findings. The science behind the arguments outlined above has come under attack by various corporate entities that stand to lose from                                                          6  Le Treut, et al. 103-11. Pachauri and Reisinger 37. The effects of anthropogenic climate change can also be difficult to discern and equally difficult to measure in the short-term. 8 Le Treut, et al. 103-11. 7     5  any legislation that would undermine their ability to continue doing business as usual.9 Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil producer, provides an example, having lobbied heavily against both the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive and the Emissions Trading Scheme.10 Indeed, energy interests have fought for years to keep climate change off the political agenda. A common argument in some of these corporate circles is that any changes to operating practices would almost certainly result in a drop in profits. Oil companies such as Shell gained particular notoriety for their efforts to “greenwash” business practices in order to maintain the status quo, rather than face the realities of increased activism, shifting consumer sentiments and the prospects of permanent changes to the natural environment.11 Though not all oil and energy companies have chosen to conduct their operations this way, climate change does remain one of the most politically sensitive issues because of the apparent economic impacts associated with acting against it. Excessive restructuring costs and high unemployment rates resulting in economic downturn are cited as the most common reasons for inaction. Yet the highly influential Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change argues that only 1% of GDP is necessary to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.12 With powerful lobby groups to do their bidding, it has become relatively easy for some corporations to skew, disprove and even silence critics.13 And because many of these companies invest heavily in politicians, many elected officials have been slow to act on climate change politically. The problem appears most acute in the wealthy, politically stable industrialized countries that have the technical know-how and financial means of taking action. A widely cited example occurred in the United States, during former President George W. Bush’s first term in office. The Bush administration backpedalled from previous administrations’ stances on climate change, by introducing legislation that catered to corporate interests (particularly known polluters and heavy CO2 emitters), hiring executives from oil companies to fill high-level environmental postings and, perhaps most famously, doctoring empirical evidence and censoring                                                          9  In addition certain corporate entities, a few skeptical scientists have voiced dissenting opinions about the IPCC Report and its findings, often arguing that climate change is primarily caused by natural processes alone. No international organization or scientific committee has refuted the IPCC’s findings, however. 10 Stockman, et al. 23-4. 11 Stockman, et al. 5-6. 12 See Stern for details about how the 1% calculation was derived. 13 Amnesty International 4, provides a detailed analysis of the Nigerian case.     6  researchers in its attempts to dispute the science.14 The American example is not devoid of its own nuances; nevertheless it highlights one of the worst cases of deliberate obstruction of the actual issue. It is unfortunately not the only example. The prevailing economic sentiments brought on by the 2008-9 global financial crisis have given even more justification for political inaction on climate change, leading to policy reversals in Europe as well. In coal-dependent Poland, for example, which has a large manufacturing sector and producer of cement (a highly carbon-intensive industry), it was argued that strong emissions standards would bring down the economy and hurt the EU convergence process.15 Even in Germany, which has supported the Green political movement for decades, the political pressure to take a stand has become decidedly less enthusiastic. In early 2007, chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to aggressively combat climate change when she was joint holder of the rotating EU Presidency and the G8. In late 2008, amid growing economic uncertainty, she conveniently gave in to German automakers’ demands for more lenient emissions standards during negotiations on the EU’s Climate and Renewable Energy legislation package. Some examples indicate that legislators are reluctant to address the problem for fear of political fallout caused by economic losses. For some, it would be “political suicide” to do anything that would cut into corporate profits and stymie growth, even only in the short-term, because of their dependence on corporate handouts to finance their office. Making the “wrong” decisions could therefore mean losing critical sources of funding, thus jeopardizing a lawmaker’s chances for re-election. It would appear that climate change is a modern-day example of the type of politics Upton Sinclair commented on decades ago, in which he famously stated “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”16 Indeed, what matters more to constituents often relates simply to their own jobs, taxes and social security, and their desires to maintain the status quo. Hence the ultimate causal variable remains the individual, and the prevailing “me first” attitude governed by a “casino mentality.”17 Politicians will, in turn, cater to such interests, creating political                                                          14  See Cousins, et al. and United States, Cong., House, for a detailed analysis of the Bush administration’s approach to the climate change issue as well as the official investigation and review of its policies. 15 Taylor. 16 Sinclair 109. 17 Clendenning.     7  environments in which the wilful obstruction of scientific facts and collusion with economic interest groups is commonplace. In recent years, however, there has been a decided push by a multitude of organizations, individuals and even some corporations to conclusively address climate change. There is a growing realization in mainstream society that the general public’s socio-economic wellbeing – a principal cause of political inaction – is in fact wholly dependent upon swift and decisive action. Some of the most prominent examples of these activities come from the EU, where there has for a long time been strong support for environmentally friendly agendas though there are glaring discrepancies even amongst the EU’s 27 Member States. The well-off northern and western European states have been tackling environmental concerns for years, whereas the relatively poorer southern and eastern states have only recently begun to turn their attention towards the environment. The harmonization processes brought on by the adoption of the acquis communautaire itself is in large part responsible for this.  Climate Change Strategies in the EU Since the EU uses a variety of instruments to protect the environment, and has legislated more in the area of environmental policy than almost any other field.18 Despite this fact, it has only recently begun to address climate change as a critical issue in its own right. The European Commission has been active in trying to reduce CO2 emissions (a primary cause of global warming) since 1991,19 but it was only after the Kyoto Protocol20 was signed in 1997 that it began to act earnestly against climate change as well. In 1998, the Commission released a Communication on the subject of a post-Kyoto strategy,21 and in 2000, it launched the European Climate Change Programme, the EU’s climate change.22 A flurry of legislation followed, including Decision 2002/358/EC (concerning the Kyoto Protocol’s approval), Directive 2003/87/EC (establishing the EU’s Emissions Trading                                                          18  Hix 253. The EU is represented at the negotiating table of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the European Commission. For more information, see Home Page European and “The Kyoto protocol.” 20 The Kyoto Protocol is a component of the UNFCCC, an international treaty aimed at “stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The treaty is hitherto the strongest international commitment to combat climate change, although its mandate is set to expire in 2012. See United Nations. 21 European Commission Climate Change. 22 Home Page European. 19     8  Scheme – EU-ETS) and Decision 2004/280/EC (concerning emissions monitoring and the Kyoto Protocol’s implementation). In February 2005, the Commission published another Communication, entitled “Winning the battle against global climate change,”23 to coincide with the Kyoto Protocol’s entry into force and the beginnings of the EU ETS – a world first. It called for broader participation over a greater number of policy areas, recommended increasing public awareness and fostering stronger co-operation with third countries.24 These actions comprise some of more widespread measures initiated by the Commission and have helped to present the EU as a world leader in the fight against global climate change.25 Aside from the work of the Commission and the EP, individual member states have also taken action on climate change. The Irish Parliament formed a Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security in mid-November 2007. Denmark created a cabinet level post of Minister for Climate and Energy, installing Connie Hedegaard in late 2007. Also in 2007, Paul Magnette became the Belgian Minister of Climate and Energy as part of a cabinet restructuring. The United Kingdom has also taken a strong stand on the issue. John Ashton become the UK’s “Climate Ambassador” (complete with actual rank and title) and has been the Special Representative for Climate Change for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office since June 2006. Ed Miliband became the first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (a cabinet level post) in November 2008. Two months later, in January 2009, the UK Parliament established an Energy and Climate Change Committee, responsible for oversight of Miliband’s ministry. Comparing these positions in anything but name, however, is difficult; they all carry differing mandates, powers and responsibilities. In some ways, this is indicative of the varying levels of interest and perceived political significance individual states attach to the problem of climate change. The Danish case in particular is evident of that country’s desire to manage environmental issues as part of a dedicated Ministry, whereas in Belgium, Magnette’s Ministry handles                                                           23  This particular Communication was the first time that the idea to limit temperature rise to 2° C (now commonly referred to In the context of EU climate initiatives) was outlined. See European Commission Winning. 24 European Commission Winning. 25 Krämer argues against this position, and notes that neither the EU’s internal structure nor the instruments it uses have enabled it to assume a leadership role. See Krämer 279.     9  two portfolios. Compare this to Germany and many other states, wherein climate change is still managed by the Ministry of Environment.26 Before the creation of the CLIM Committee, questions related to the EP’s climate change dossier were referred to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), a standing committee in the EP that has been in existence since 1973. The ENVI Committee’s contributions to the climate change debate had mainly been consultation and co-decision procedures, often involving emissions standards and more recently also the EU-ETS. If climate change ever made it onto the agenda, it was as a subtopic of these areas of legislation. The ENVI Committee’s broad and growing mandate27 – which includes liaison with three of the Commission’s Directorates General (DG) and oversight of six EU Agencies28 – did not allow the climate change discussion to receive the focused attention it may have deserved. The prevailing political atmosphere necessitated the creation of an independent body, a novel actor, with the competency to tackle climate change exclusively. It was with this in mind that the EP’s Conference of Presidents decided to create the CLIM Committee, a special parliamentary body charged with coordinating the legislative assembly’s position on climate change in the lead up to the negotiations for a successor treaty to the ageing Kyoto Protocol. The decision to form the CLIM Committee was to be a significant one for the EP. As a temporary committee, it had the ability to gather knowledge from throughout the parliament, could make recommendations and shape policy, spur greater international cooperation and engage the public more proactively because it was dedicated to dealing with only one issue. It also showed that climate change was a subject that was important enough to be delegated to a separate actor, and this decision would have wide-ranging impacts on the policy-making processes in the EP, as the CLIM’s mandate placed it in an excellent position to implement the goals espoused by the Commission.                                                          26  The increasing prevalence of unique cabinet-level and parliamentary actors involved in some way with the climate change dossier is intriguing nonetheless, since there does not appear to be any distinct or unifying political motivation for doing so. As they are all novel actors in the climate change debate, a consideration of their roles in government can provide important insights into their effect upon governance processes, particularly due to their horizontal impact. At the very least, these novel actors can serve as indicators of prevailing political trends. All that can currently be determined, however, is that there will be an increasing number of actors and individuals in the highest levels of [European] governments tasked with the climate change portfolio. 27 Home Page Committee. 28 These include DG Environment, DG Public Health and Consumers and DG Enterprise; the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Chemical Agency (ECHA)     10  CHAPTER 2  CAUSAL STORIES The EU itself has changed remarkably since its earliest inceptions, evolving from the fledgling economic union into a powerful supranational actor. Its dynamic nature is more easily understood upon examination of the successive treaties that have fostered its existence and spurred further integration.29 These treaties outline the nature of the EU’s supranational actorness and distinguish the scope of its many legal competences. The EU currently has several areas of exclusive competence, for which Member States no longer make any policy decisions (e.g. the customs union, economic and monetary policy). In these policy areas, Member States have voluntarily conferred their powers and responsibilities to the EU.30 In areas of complementary competence (e.g. education, tourism), the EU’s actions support or help to coordinate Member States’ actions. Environmental policy is an area of shared competence (i.e. both the EU and Member States have the power to make laws).31 EU laws supercede national legislation in these areas, however, and Member States are required to transpose them into national legislation so as to be “compatible” with the EU legislation. A Member State may exceed the requirements as set out in the supranational legislation, but cannot do less than the minimum standards required by the EU. In this way, transposition helps to give the EU political and legal legitimacy, while also carrying out the EU’s overall goals of maintaining the internal market.32 In addition to shared competences on matters such as the environment, the EU also has a unique legislative process: co-decision. In this process, the Commission will initiate legislation and the EP and the European Council (ministerial representatives from the Member States) will together debate the proposals. Co-decision is outlines further in Chapter Three.                                                          29  30  31 32     Four treaties have played a significant role in European politics thus far: the Treaty of Rome (1957), the Single European Act (1986), the Treaty on the European Union (1997) and the Lisbon Treaty (2009). The nature of the EP’s supranational actorness is laid out in the European Union’s treaties. In transferring authority to the EU, a Member State essentially relinquishes some of its sovereignty. Aside from the principle of conferral, the EU also operates under the principles of subsidiarity (under which decisions are taken at the lowest level possible) and proportionality (which states that the EU can only do what is necessary and nothing more to achieve its objectives). For more information about EU competences see Wallace, et al. Policy and “Competence.” European courts have established that EU law has primacy over national legislation in a number of court cases. Supremacy of EU law over national legislation was first established by the European Court of Justice case, Costa v. ENEL (C-6/64).  11  Much like the EU, an evaluation of the CLIM Committee is impossible without an in-depth examination of the causal story behind its formation and an explanation of the EP’s functioning more generally. In order to do so it is first necessary to outline different approaches to studying the EU. A brief assessment of the EU reveals that it is a novel actor amongst international organizations, much like the CLIM Committee is a novel actor within the EU. And, just like the CLIM Committee, the EU maintains a horizontal political agenda, cutting across policy areas and national interests in order to reach its intended goals. As the EU’s influence over the European continent grows, so too does intellectual discourse and debate about the state of its actorness. Yet despite the plethora of paradigms spanning over fifty years of empirical research, there has not yet been a single irrefutable model or even an academic consensus, that both adequately explains the integrationist processes at work in Europe and stands the test of time. Scholars have conceded that “no single theory or approach can explain everything one would like to know or predict about the EU,”33 though they have agreed that the EU is a sui generis entity that, while often behaving like a state, is best described as possessing elements of both supranationalism and intergovernmentalism.34 Some researchers have even described it as a “political system.”35 Although there is still debate on the matter, theories of liberal intergovernmentalism have received considerable attention in recent years. This section defines the dominant theories in the field of European integration and their usefulness in interpreting the CLIM Committee’s work. Drawing on the seminal work of Andrew Moravcsik and Ernst Haas, it demonstrates why neo-functionalism provides the best lens through which to examine the forces shaping European integration, in particular the work of the CLIM Committee. While this account does not endeavor to provide an exhaustive description of the EU’s multifaceted nature, it presents a synopsis of the academic discourse relevant to the climate change policymaking processes discussed in the following chapters.                                                          33 34  35     Ruggie 280. Contemporary academics tend to side with either the Supranational or Intergovernmental paradigms or offshoots thereof. These theories are veritable mirror images of one another, and their fundamental differences centre on power and institutional decisionmaking processes. In a supranational system, power is transferred to a higher authority than state governments, decisions are made by a majority and states retain only nominal sovereignty. In an intergovernmental system, power and sovereignty is retained by states and decisions are made in unanimity; any broader (i.e. supranational) authority is in effect controlled by the actions of the member states. For further information about the EU as a sui generis entity and how this impacts the EP, see Judge. For more about the EU as a new and complex decentralized political system, in which states voluntarily contribute (an intergovernmental approach, see Hix.  12  Liberal Intergovernmentalism Andrew Moravcsik developed the theory of liberal intergovernmentalism to explain the unique processes of regional integration occurring in the EU. The theory rests on the premise that a variety of interest groups are responsible for national preference formation. These preferences coupled with a state’s relative bargaining power then determine its bargaining position in interstate negotiations, after which institutions can be formed.36 The argument has been distilled into three steps: “States first define preferences, then bargain to substantive agreements, and finally create (or adjust) institutions to secure those outcomes in the face of future uncertainty.”37 In Europe, these ‘substantive agreements’ resulted in the creation of institutions that worked to promote the common interests of Member States. Applied to the case of the EU, therefore, “integration can best be understood as a series of rational choices made by national leaders. These choices responded to constraints and opportunities stemming from the economic interests of powerful domestic constituents, the relative power of states stemming from asymmetrical interdependence, and the role of institutions in bolstering the credibility of interstate commitments.”38 In short, the theory asserts that European states were the primary actors that fostered cooperation and built supranational institutions when it was desirable for them to do to. Moravcsik would argue that the institutions in effect make cooperation more likely because they reduce the transaction costs of decision-making processes and legitimate common policies that in turn increase the participating states’ powers and abilities to set preferences. This process then spawns further integration. The theory of liberal intergovernmentalism is not without its flaws, however. Chief among these is the understanding that supranational entities are always subservient to member states. If this were true, then it would be impossible for the EU to function as it does as a supranational actor, such as by exacting legally binding legislation on its Member States. There continues to be a strong belief that “policy-makers who devise and operate EU rules and legislation are from the member states themselves…for whom the                                                          36  37 38     Mark Pollack also provides an excellent description of liberal intergovernmentalism as a three step model including based on a liberal theory of national preference, an intergovernmental model of EU bargaining and a model of institutional bargaining emphasizing the role of international institutions. See Pollack “Theorizing the European Union” 360-1. Moravcsik and Schimmelfennig 69. Moravcsik Choice 18.  13  European dimension is an extended policy arena, not a separate activity.”39 While this may be true of the European Council, the European Commission and the EP are independent of Member State control, subject only to the salient changes brought about successive European treaties. In addition, liberal intergovernmentalism is not a universally applicable model. It does well to explain the processes at work in the early decades of the European project (when the focus was primarily on economic integration), but its claims have been criticized for not being able to effectively account for greater political integration brought on by successive enlargement processes and treaties promoting an ever closer union.40 The fact that many decisions are made exclusively on the supranational level is just one example. Liberal intergovernmentalism is accordingly presented as a framework for the interpretation of relations between states in the international sphere. When viewed in this light, it does exactly what Moravcsik intends of it, which is to provide “a precondition for the development of more complex theories of integration.”41  Neo-functionalism Neo-functionalism stands in contrast to liberal intergovernmentalism as one of the oldest and most compelling theories of regional integration. Writing during the infancy of the European integration project, Ernst B. Haas bore witness to the realization of the Monnet and Schumann plans and saw the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. Haas devised neo-functionalism as a way to explain the emergence of these supranational institutions – novel actors in their own right – and the beginnings of the EU. Neofunctionalism is defined as “international cooperation…based on competing and colluding subnational interests that might be reconciled by the creative interventions of supranational technocratic actors.”42 An important contribution of neo-functionalism is the ‘Community Method’ of decision-making, which places all parties on equal footing.43 A key difference between it and liberal intergovernmentalism is the idea that states are not                                                          39  Wallace “Overview” 7. Moravcsik and Schimmelfennig 80. 41 Moravcsik Preferences 519. 42 Ruggie 278. 43 Pollack “Theorizing EU Policy-Making” 16. 40     14  the principle drivers of integration as much as they are willing participants in it. According to the neo-functionalist model, therefore, Member States “may set the terms of the initial agreement and strive to control subsequent events, but they do not exclusively determine the direction, extent, and pace of change. Rather, regional bureaucrats…exploit the inevitable ‘spillover’ and unintended consequences that occur when states agree to some degree of supranational responsibility.”44 In other words, while states may have initiated cooperation and formed supranational actors, control over further integration is ultimately wrested from them by the very entities that they created in the first place. Spillover is the salient feature of neo-functionalism. It encourages further integration by creating incentives for institutions to create new actors. In the European example, the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community is said to have triggered the creation of additional institutions such as the European Economic Community, which in turn precipitated spillover in their own right, provoking further integration as their relative power increased. In essence, the formation of supranational administrations in the 1950s instigated a series of related processes that culminated in the EU of today.45 Because neo-functionalism deems integration to be inevitable rather than simply desirable, spillover fosters greater levels of cooperation eventually leading to selfsustaining integration. As Robert Schuman stated in his famous Declaration, “by pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority…this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation.”46 Though Schuman was not referring to the specific spillover effects described by Haas, his comments do show that he hoped for greater integration to occur naturally. Schuman’s colleague Jean Monnet, another founding father of European integration, was a strong believer in the ideas Haas advanced, especially the concept of spillover. Like Haas, Monnet also hoped that integration of the coal and steel sectors would create a snowball effect leading to cooperation in other areas.47 This did occur in large part during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, as additional states became involved in the European integrationist movement and                                                          44  Ruggie 279. A similar example might be the evolution of the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union, though it is too soon to tell if spillover will have the same kinds of effects in this case as it did in the EU. 46 Schuman. 47 For details about Monnet’s thoughts on spillover, see O’Neill 21-53. 45     15  more political arenas were managed on the supranational level.48 Over the years, Haas’ work has been cited often, though scholars are increasingly acknowledging its shortcomings. Much like liberal intergovernmentalism, it has difficulties accounting for all of the EU’s transformations. To be sure, Haas’ theories were the product of a different era, though as a theory, neo-functionalism (and spillover) should be applicable, at least in the short-term. It could be argued that expansion itself is also an example of spillover, though the 2004 and 2007 additions of new Member States may have been too great a change in the European dynamic even for Haas to account for. At the very least, such a rapid enlargement greatly complicated the EU’s decision-making processes (especially in cases where unanimity is required). Another noteworthy problem relates to the idea of self-sustaining integration. From the idea that spillover will continue to result in integration, one might extrapolate that setbacks are technically impossible; however, integration cannot go on perpetually. This may have been apparent to Haas, who declared neo-functionalism obsolete49 as a theory during the ‘empty chair’ crisis of 1965-6,50 a considerable setback for the integrationist project. In addition to this shortcoming, it has been argued that neo-functionalism lacks the appropriate rigor and predictability of other academic theories such as liberal intergovernmentalism and is overly ambitious in its assertions: “[It seeks] to construct a comprehensive synthesis without a reliable set of theoretical elements, to analyze dynamic change without a reliable account of static decision-making, to analyze endogenous causes without a reliable account of exogenous causes and, above all, to predict without a reliable explanation.”51 Because it is comprised of many one-sided elements, scholars are forced into a situation in which they have to ‘connect the dots’ themselves instead of being able to rely on a holistically sound model. The refinement of liberal intergovernmentalism since its emergence in the 1990s has also contributed to neo-functionalism’s decline in academic circles. In many ways, it does not provide an adequate explanation for the                                                           48  Rosamond provides a succinct explanation of the concepts devised by Haas, notably spillover and loyalty, in addition to addressing critiques of the theory. See Rosamond 50-97. 49 Haas Obsolescence. 50 Integration was stalled somewhat by the ‘empty chair’ crisis of 1965/66, in which France refused to take its seat at the European Council because of fears over the growing supranationalism of the European Institutions and concerns about maintaining agricultural subsidies. The crisis was resolved by the so-called “Luxembourg Compromise,” which allowed a Member State to veto legislation that it felt compromised its national interests. For further details, see “Luxembourg compromise.” 51 Moravcsik “European” 355.     16  complexities of European integration in the 21st Century.52 Review Throughout the years, the assortment of theories used to explain European integration has been rightly focused on power; who has it and who does not.53 Liberal intergovernmentalism espouses the idea that power continues to remain with individual member states, as it did before integration. It is particularly effective in describing the concept of interstate bargaining and provides a strong argument for the reduction of transaction costs that comes about when supranational institutions are introduced into the decision-making process. The theory is decidedly weak, however, when it comes to explaining decisions made exclusively on the supranational level, where it is decidedly more difficult for Member States to interfere by setting preferences. Neo-functionalism states that, as a result of interstate cooperation, power will shift towards greater levels of supranational actorness. As a theory, it best accounts for the undertakings of European Institutions that often function independent of national control. The idea of spillover in particular can provide at least a nominal accounting for the inner workings of the decision-making processes at work in the EP that resulted in the formation of the CLIM Committee. The room for continued spillover, however, is said to be growing more and more limited with every advance in integration. Some scholars now believe that there are few policy areas left that ”seem capable of igniting latent functional linkages and generating the unintended consequences on which neofunctionalism thrived.”54 As the dominant paradigms in the field of regional integration, liberal intergovernmentalism and neo-functionalism have been continually revised and updated as new evidence emerges in favour of either side of the debate.55 Still, it would appear as though neither theory can – in the strictest sense – account for the complexities of European integration in the present era. Nevertheless, one of these theories provides a                                                          52  For an extensive discussion of the theories behind European integration, see Rosamond. Research into the area of state power is an area of major scholarly activity by political scientists. It is also an area of intense conflict amongst academics. In this section, however, the idea that state power has declined is merely meant to be a comparative illustration. It is important to note that while the power of European states has not necessarily declined in absolute terms in any case, it has been in somewhat weakened, as the relative power of supranational institutions has increased dramatically, in some cases enough to eclipse the power of Member States. This is the case of environmental legislation and other areas of EU competence that are part of the first pillar. 54 Ruggie 281. 55 This was in part what led to the decline in popularity of neo-functionalism and the emergence of liberal intergovernmentalism as the most recent incarnation of the dominant theory in the field of regional integration and European Studies. 53     17  more all-encompassing interpretation of the processes of European integration as well as the most satisfying explanation for the CLIM Committee’s formation.  The EU as a Neo-functional Actor The growth of integration in the postwar era led to a relative decline of the power of states as “the pressure to manage substantive policies stemming from new forms of regional interdependence motivated governments to make new institutional commitments.”56 The result was a shift in power towards the fledging EEC. Few would contest the idea that the forward motion of European integration has been the result of “grand [European] projects” such as the Customs Union, the Single Market, the Euro, Eastern Enlargement, the Lisbon Treaty. These integration projects were instrumental in achieving a deepening and widening of the EU, and cross-cutting novel actors such as the CLIM Committee are the consistent driving force behind them. They proliferation of institutions and growth of an ever closer union with more and more supranational ties suggests that neo-functionalism is alive and well in the EU. Environmental issues such as climate change are notoriously complex and difficult for politicians, in part because they are cannot be limited to the national realm. Though climate change is certainly very important to a state’s interests, it is more easily managed by the cooperation of states in a supranational manner. In fact, the environment has been an area of supranational cooperation for decades under the EU’s pillar structure for precisely this reason.57 In environmental policy-making, for example, state interests primarily come to the fore during co-decision negotiations on specific legislation. As EU legislation supersedes national legislation, however, the work of the EU on environmental policy (and particularly on climate change) has rendered many of the national efforts moot. Whether intentionally or not, greater cooperation and growing numbers of new                                                          56 57     Moravcsik “European” 359. Since the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), the European Union’s policy competences have been defined using a three-pillar structure. Areas of European Community competence such as economic, social and environmental policies fall under the first pillar, while Common Foreign and Security Policy and Policy and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters comprising pillars two and three, respectively. Supranational policy-making is strongest in the first pillar. Intergovernmentalism dominates the other pillars, as powers of the European Union’s primary lawmaking institutions – the Parliament, the Commission and the Court of Justice – are decidedly weak in these areas. The Treaty of Lisbon is expected to harmonize the pillar structure, and will give the European Union a legal personality of its own for the first time. Moving the EU towards a more identifiable political actor may, in this regard, help to resolve some of the fundamental questions posed by integrationist scholars.  18  supranational linkages appear to be taking more and more responsibilities away from Member States and placing it in the hands of supranational actors in the EU. That new types of political actors such as CLIM continue to be created in this way is very important, therefore, because it supports the idea that the causal factors themselves are rooted in supranationalism. In the particular case of CLIM, a presentation of four causal alternatives helps to scrutinize the Committee through the neo-functionalist lens. The arguments surrounding institutional spillover contends that integration is an automatic, forward-moving process, prompting bureaucrats in existing supranational institutions to create new supranational actors to address new policy issues.58 In contrast to this idea, political entrepreneurship asserts that an individual (often a politician or businessperson) will sponsor a particular project, such as the creation of a novel actor, in order to advance his or her own political agenda. In the case of institutional competition, a power struggle between actors prompts each to seize upon political opportunities so as to influence a particular issue.59 A final causal explanation centers on the role of interest groups, which use lobbying as a means of creating a novel actor best suited to further their own political goals. The growth of the climate change debate and involvement of many public and private stakeholders seem to suggest that environmental interest groups may have forced that CLIM’s formation, or that it came about through the political entrepreneurship of “green” politicians. While individual actors and organizations certainly have a role to play in the climate change debate, none was powerful enough to directly impact the decision to form CLIM. Moreover, because CLIM was organized with a view to further the EP’s goals points to the fact that there was no behind-the-scenes agenda setting to co-opt the Committee. The idea of institutional competition is also very compelling, especially given the fact that the EP is the weakest of the EU’s three lawmaking bodies. However, the growth in the EP’s powers as well as CLIM’s willingness to work with the Commission and Council do not give this idea much merit either. CLIM’s formation was, in fact, an example of institutional spillover, prompted by the EP’s need to address this contentious policy issue. The multifaceted nature of climate                                                          58 59     Schimmelfennig and Rittberger 88-90. This idea also corresponds with neo-functionalism’s main tenets as set out by Haas. This is related to the idea of Competitive Supranationalism between EU actors. Schreurs and Tiberghien argue that the climate change leadership in this regard is the result of “multi-level reinforcement” between EU actors. See Schreurs and Tiberghien 22.  19  change has made it difficult to address using traditional political actors. The creation of a novel actor in the form of a temporary committee was the EP’s institutional response to the growing issue of climate change. The EP instigated spillover by forming the CLIM Committee, and gave it the power to ensure that it would function effectively as a strong supranational actor. Indeed, the CLIM Committee fits neatly into the framework of supranational European governance best encapsulated by the theory of neo-functionalism. Forming a CLIM was an opportunity for the EP to engage the climate change in a constructive way, contributing both to its own knowledge as well as the goals set out by the Commission. It showed that the EP took seriously the problems posed by climate change, and would use its political clout to contribute to the EU’s efforts to combat it.     20  CHAPTER 3  COMMITTEE CONUNDRUM The EP has existed since 1958 as an assembly of the European Economic Community, and its powers changed in many ways over the years. Until the first European Elections in 1979, the EP was composed of delegates sent from national parliaments. MEPs were essentially appointed by national parliaments until the process of democratically electing them was put into place. Into the mid-1980s, the EP had only a cooperative or consultative role within the framework of European governance.60 Only with the Single European Act (SEA) of 1986 would it receive greater powers, including the right of codecision with the European Council. Co-decision is the most commonly used legislative process in the EU today, especially in the area of shared competences such as environmental policy. In this process, the EP and the Council of Ministers (representatives from Member States) must jointly discuss, amend and agree on legislation proposed by the Commission before it can become law.61 The implementation of the co-decision procedure relatively weakened the Commission’s strength, while allowing the EP to become an equal partner in the lawmaking process.62 More importantly, co-decision has also allowed the EU to develop a legislative branch that has been widely described as genuinely bicameral, thereby giving the EU greater legitimacy.63 In addition to enhancing the EP’s powers of co-decision, the SEA also gave the EU competence in the environmental field. This was done in part to ensure that that the SEA would be effective in its goal of harmonizing the internal market.64 Still, treaties such as the SEA place considerable power in the hands of the supranational European Commission. As the EU’s executive branch, the Commission has considerable strength, including the exclusive right to initiate legislation and also to begin infringement proceedings against Member States. The EP, in contrast, has only been able                                                          60  See Wallace “Institutional” and Hix, et al. “Institutional” for a history and discussion of the EP’s role within European governance. The process is much more complex than outlined here. For further detail and including a detailed overview of the process, see Judge and Earnshaw 46-9, Hix 76-9, 99-109 and Young 100-7. The European Commission provides a detailed flowchart of the co-decision steps on its Europa web site. See “Codecision.” 62 Judge and Earnshaw 48-9. 63 Hix 72, 103-5; Pollack “Theorizing the European Union” 373; Tsebelis “Institutional” 358. 64 Lenschow argues that the SEA led to a proliferation of EU environmental legislation. See Lenschow 307 and Hix 254. 61     21  to act as a “means for prompting the consideration of non-economic factors . . . with little leverage on the implementation of regulations.”65 In many ways, the EP is a comparative weak institution, with little regulatory power compared to national parliaments, though its influence has grown considerably since its inception. Today, the EP is in many respects the EU’s engine of accountability. It is responsible for discharging the EU’s budget and must approve an incoming College of Commissioners. The Parliament stands to gain from its role as a co-decider because the process “provides potential true veto power and hence visible responsibility for the outcome, thus making the EP more accountable”66 for its actions on behalf of European citizens. Indeed, a growing institutional workload has allowed MEPs to approach their work with greater determination, while continual increases in power have caused the EP to become a more widely regarded Institution.67 In addition, the changes that have affected the EP over the years have had a profound impact on the way the EU conducts its affairs.68  The EP and Environmental Policy-making: The Influence of Supranational Party Cohesion The EP has had a significant impact on environmental policy making since the SEA enhanced its powers. Without a doubt, the EP is considered a “green champion”69 and is the ‘greenest’ of the three main EU Institutions,70 though it did not attain this status overnight. It was helped by the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which heightened the EP’s role in determining the direction of EU environmental politics by mandating Environmental Policy Integration across institutions and policy sectors.71 Another important aspect of the EP’s environmental influence lies in the sphere of party politics.                                                           65  Wallace “Institutional” 80. Lenschow 316-7. 67 The EP continually ranks amongst the most trusted of EU Institutions. See European Commission Public Opinion Monitoring Unit Standard Eurobarometer 70. 68 Hix, et al. Democratic 21. 69 See Burns for more about the EP as an environmental champion. 70 Lenschow 315. 71 A report by the European Environment Agency encouraged greater engagement of the European Parliament in this regard already in 2005. See European Environment Agency and Home Page Environmental Integration. 66     22  In terms of the environment, political parties and interest groups can be said to have dominant roles.72 Supranational party cohesiveness is said to have the most direct impact on parliamentary outcomes, and its influence has grown with each subsequent increase in parliamentary power.73 There is considerable emphasis on the fact that “parties [in the EP] have formed around traditional [left-right] socio-economic and ideological cleavages” rather than those based on nationality or territory.74 As a supranational institution, MEPs are less inclined to serve their Member State’s interests in the same ways the members of national parliaments would serve their constituents.75 In fact, studies have confirmed that party cohesion in the EP is stronger than national loyalty.76 This is true to the extent that MEPs seek to secure re-election, in which case they will work hard to work towards promoting common policy aims and building coalitions (within the framework of the committees), but will not entirely neglect their national parties.77 As a result, party cohesion has led to a decline in state-centered interests and a greater focus on political parties themselves. The examination of crosssectoral issues such as climate change is thereby made easier, as there is only a need to consider the interests of a handful of political parties instead of two-dozen Member States.78 Supranational party cohesion can have a dramatic impact in the EP, influencing not only plenary votes but also committee opinions. Indeed, it is important for policymakers to recognize that “the overall political [party] composition of the EP must not be underestimated.”79 An example is the ENVI Committee. The Committee has had several chairs that have been members of the European People’s Party (EPP), providing a level of continuity throughout its existence. Having a centre-right party such as the EPP in this position ensured that that extreme radical views were prevented from dominating.80 The EPP chairs were instrumental in mediating many viewpoints, resulting in a greater ability to propose amendments and pass crucial legislation. When taken together with the                                                          72  Hix 109. Hix, et al. Democratic 2-3. 74 Hix, et al. Democratic 217. 75 Hix, et al. Democratic 132-7. 76 See Hix, et al. Democratic 93-104 for a detailed account of this phenomenon. For another perspective, see Judge and Earnshaw 1359. 77 Hix 90. 78 This concept is particularly important to those studying environmental politics and the EP as it helps to explain the problematic faced by politicians during voting time on key environmental legislation. 79 Lenschow 317. 80 Lenschow 317. 73     23  multitude of institutional changes, the superstructure of this party system show that the EP has become a more powerful assembly in its own right, comparable with parliaments in Member States and around the world.81 Moreover, it exhibits how institutional spillover has impacted the role of MEPs, specifically by prompting a shifting of loyalties away from Member States and towards supranational political parties. The question that remains, however, is how the CLIM Committee in particular fit into this political milieu. In order to better grapple with the ‘how’ question it will be necessary to examine CLIM’s role within EU governance, in particular the decisions surrounding its setup, functioning and the implementation of its mandate and work programme. The inner workings of the Committee system and the EP, specifically how and why it chose to create the CLIM Committee, will be the next topics of scrutiny.  The Committee System in the EP: Why was CLIM temporary? Subordinate only to an entire legislative assembly meeting in plenary, committees form the backbone of any lawmaking body and enable a parliament’s agenda to move forward with relative ease. They do much administrative legwork by independently examining specific issues, holding hearings and deliberating on the merits of pending legislation. Without them, it would simply be impossible to legislate in an efficient and effective manner. This is especially true in the EP, which functions much the same as a national parliament but is rooted in supranational governance. Apart from standing committees, such as the ENVI Committee, the EP is also able to organize subcommittees and temporary committees.82 Both types have narrower mandates and more limited powers than standing committees but their relevance to the policy-making process is no less significant. The distinctions between these three entities are best explained in the EP’s Rules of Procedure. According to these regulations, a standing committee’s primary function is to “examine questions referred to it by                                                           81  Hix, Noury and Roland’s analysis of 15000 votes since the EP’s inception reflects an increase in party cohesion, which has affected voting behavior decisively. See Hix et al. Democratic 3 as well as Pollack “Theorizing the European Union” 374-5. 82 Judge and Earnshaw 178-80. This is one of the only examinations of temporary committees in literature about the EP.     24  Parliament.”83 Standing committees are also responsible for the “adoption, follow-up and implementation of Community legislation.”84 Subcommittees are the weakest of the three types of committee but they provide a means for standing committees to tackle specific issues that loom large within their spheres of activity. Despite ostensibly having ”considerable autonomy from the main committee (own expertise budgets granted to subcommittees, own seat on the Conference of Committee Chairs, requests for delegations occasionally being directly submitted to the Conference of Presidents, own quota for delegations, etc),”85 subcommittees have a number of inherent weaknesses. In particular, they are still always responsible to a specific standing committee and are usually comprised of members from that committee. Another problem with this approach is the attitude of subcommittees to “see themselves more as a 'handicapped' standing committee than a body working for and within the parent committee, thus often leading to tensions between the two bodies instead of facilitating the work of the parent committee.”86 Temporary committees are relatively independent actors, but are unable to act as legislators. The only entity that has the ability to act as a legislator is a standing committee. The Conference of Presidents ensures that the formation of a temporary committee does not hinder the standing committees’ legislative powers. If any legislation were to have been proposed as a result of 87a temporary committee’s work, a standing committee would have to have been the one to table it. Apart from this distinction, subcommittees and temporary committees must be granted essentially the same powers of inquiry and investigation as given to standing committees, lest their unique roles and areas of expertise be rendered moot. The Rules of Procedure differentiate between standing committees, whose powers can be changed at any time by parliament, and temporary committees, whose powers cannot be changed after their inception.88 It is therefore important that any temporary committees’ powers be clearly defined from the outset.                                                           83  EP Rules 96. EP Decision. 85 EP Working Party Third 24. 86 EP Working Party Third 24. 87 In the case of CLIM, this means that legislations would most likely have emanated from ENVI. 88 EP Rules 92. 84     25  Climate Change as a Temporary Committee Issue The looming question for the EP in 2007 was how to address climate change in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The creation of a standing committee would have been inappropriate, given the number of topical areas involved with the climate change dossier that would require cross-cutting inquiries, and standing committees’ mandates typically do not call on them to move horizontally across institutional boundaries. Furthermore, climate change is (one would hope) a temporary rather than an ongoing issue. Climate change could also have been delegated to a subcommittee, although this would have meant that the CLIM Committee would have been more closely linked and highly dependent on the ENVI Committee rather than achieving the independent and horizontal objectives envisaged by the Conference of Presidents.89 Given the horizontal nature of the CLIM Committee, there is ample evidence that maintaining a climate change subcommittee (presumably subservient to the ENVI Committee) would have been detrimental to the creation and operation of a cross-sectoral mandate. The formation of CLIM also coincides with a number of legislative proposals centered on the climate change issue that were tabled in 2007. A resolution on climate change drafted by future CLIM rapporteur Karl-Heinz Florenz was adopted in plenary on February 14, 2007, a full two months before the CLIM Committee’s formation. The resolution seeks more “concrete” measures in the area of climate change, and calls the EP’s “relevant committees and delegations to work together closely on climate change, so that its industrial policy, energy policy, transport, agriculture, research and development and other initiatives are better coordinated.”90 Although the text does not call for a separate committee or even specific parliamentary action on the matter, the timing of the resolution and the formation of the CLIM Committee appear to be more than coincidental.91 Climate change has been regarded as an environmental policy area for many years, meaning that the ENVI Committee was the competent authority on the matter and had                                                          89  EP Rules 96-7. EP Resolution on climate change. Calling for “concrete” measures as well as “initiatives that are better coordinated” is common parliamentary language designed to spur action, and not necessarily the means to a predefined end. 91 ENVI’s resolution was adopted in plenary and subsequently revisited by Satu Hassi and Guido Sacconi, resulting in the drafting of two additional resolutions in July 2007 and November 2007 (in both cases on behalf of the CLIM Committee), respectively, with similar wording and setting out the same goals. 90     26  primary jurisdiction over all questions and legislative initiatives relating to it. Although the particular motivations of the Conference of Presidents had for setting up the CLIM Committee are unpublished, the nature of the issue itself points to an issue of competency. In the EP, to ensure for democratic legitimacy, accountability and to avoid redundancy, only one committee is declared to have the competency to address a specific issue. EP Rule 179 details the course of action to be taken if a single standing committee “declare[s] itself not competent to consider a Question.”92 In such a case, the Conference of Committee Chairs will attempt to render a solution, and if they are unable to reach a consensus, the Conference of Presidents will make a final decision on the matter. Normally, ENVI is responsibly for the climate change dossier. Given ENVI’s already heavy workload and the complexities of the issue, however, it becomes evident why the Conference of Presidents decided to from a new competent authority on climate change in the form of a temporary committee; one with a broader scope and the ability to cut across the various policy areas. The neo-functional causal narrative outlined would support the idea that institutional spillover resulted in the creation of a new committee, especially if ENVI was indeed overwhelmed. It is also possible that the decision to deal with climate change in a unique committee may have been taken independently by the Conference of Presidents, regardless of the desires of political parties. Public records do show that representatives from the EPP and PES called for a competent authority to investigate the climate change issue. The decision to form the CLIM Committee could therefore have been just as much the result of growing public interest in the topic as a specific “question” submitted to parliament. In this case as well, it is plausible that the EP’s decision to form CLIM was the result of spillover rooted in the desire to tackle a growing political issue. CLIM’s Organization The formation of the CLIM Committee was announced on April 19, 2007. The Committee was originally given a mandate of twelve months to complete its tasks, at which time it would present a final report. Once mandated, the CLIM Committee had to be set up, a                                                          92     EP Rules 96. “Questions” as discussed in Rule 179 may simply refer to particular topics of a interdisciplinary nature, not necessarily actual questions put forth by MEPs.  27  rapporteur chosen and a work programme decided upon. The Rules of Procedure once again provide insight into how this was accomplished, stating that the “composition of the committees shall, as far as possible, reflect the composition of Parliament.”93 The 6th Parliamentary Term (2004-2009) boasted 732 MEPs, increasing to 785 with the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007.94 Even though CLIM was formed prior to European elections in both of these countries, the Committee’s membership ultimately reflected the EU’s continued diversification even after their accession.95 From a purely political perspective, however, it is often stated that the EP’s composition does not have a major impact on policy outcomes.96 As previously discussed, supranational party cohesiveness plays a more dominant role in this regard. The discussions concerning the forming of the CLIM Committee were mired in heated debate. The decision came at the behest of the EP’s two largest political party groupings, the EPP and PES. The third largest grouping, ALDE, argued passionately against the establishment of the CLIM Committee, stating that " . . . climate change is not something that can be resolved in a year by adding another committee to our existing standing committee on the Environment . . ., commissioning more studies and hearing more experts.”97 ALDE chair Graham Watson in particular referred to the motion as “essentially window dressing…[that] might prove more of a distraction than a decisive action.”98 Given the attention that had already been given to climate change by 2007, ALDE argued it would appear somewhat monotonous that yet another actor would debate the issue further. But with the growing need for legislation and discussion on the matter, the EP could not let the Commission work alone in its efforts to combat climate change. Even with the opposition of ALDE and the abstention of the Green and Liberal groups (which nominally shared ALDE’s sentiments), the measure to form the CLIM Committee was passed in plenary with a decisive majority of the EPP and PES.99 After the Committee                                                          93  EP Rules 94. Of the 732 MEPs elected in 2004 and in place when the CLIM Committee was founded, 268 (36.7%) belonged to the EPP-ED, 200 (27.3%) belonged to the PES, 88 (12.0%) belonged to the ALDE, 42 (5.7%) belonged to the G-EFA, 41 (5.6%) belonged to the GUE/NGL, 37 (5.1%) belonged to the ID, 27 (3.7%) belonged to the UEN and 29 (4.0%) belonged to the NI group. For details of CLIM’s composition, see EP Press Service Climate change composition. 95 The only anomaly in the proportional party representation of its sixty members was a slightly greater relative weight given to the PES, which is noteworthy considering that the Committee Chair, Guido Sacconi, was a member of that party. There is no indication that the skewing of the numbers had any impact in CLIM’s working processes, however. 96 Moravcsik and Schimmelfennig 74. 97 “Greening.” 98 “Parliament to set up climate committee.” 99 The vote to establish CLIM was one of simple majority, 94     28  was formed in 2007, the EP became firmly entrenched within the EU’s climate change milieu. In terms of its organization, CLIM was structured just like any other committee: it had one chair, four vice-chairs, sixty members, a secretariat, a budget, a mandate, regularly scheduled meetings and perhaps most importantly, the legitimacy that comes with the backing of the EP. But because it was a temporary committee, it did not have unlimited time, legislative abilities or equal status with standing committees. The CLIM Committee was at the forefront of the EU’s climate change debate for much of its tenure, tasked with “[formulating] proposals on the EU’s future integrated policy on climate change and to coordinate the Parliament’s position.”100 Examining its mandate, its work programme and its behavior can more easily differentiate CLIM from other committees.  A Horizontal Mandate The CLIM Newsletter, a monthly publication outlining the committee’s activities (often via a series of interviews with MEPs) also does well to highlight the Committee’s mandate and work programme. In one of its early issues, it outlines that "while the powers of its standing committees . . . shall remain unchanged, the temporary committee may make recommendations as to measures or initiatives to be taken. Thus, an efficient and clear division of tasks between the different committees is guaranteed.”101 This statement indicates that CLIM’s mandate gave the Committee the power to shape EP policies but stopped short of actually having real legislative capabilities. Seeing as the Commission has always had the right of legislative initiation, the policy-making role of the EP has been perceived as rather weak. In terms of the climate change debate, however, CLIM garnered particular attention and support from the Commission, giving it relative strength in terms of its ability to influence EU climate change policy. Upon its formation, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas stated that the new committee would be instrumental in “raising awareness and in pushing climate change to the top of the international agenda.”102 CLIM vice-chair Vittorio Prodi noted that “[t]he EP wanted this Temporary Committee as a means for developing a systemic                                                          100  EP Decision. CLIM Newsletter Jul. 2007. 102 European Commission Press Room Commissioner. 101     29  response”103 to climate change and that the committee “should set up a framework for cooperation”104 within the EP as well as with the Commission. In order to achieve greater cohesion between the EP and the Commission on the subject of climate change, CLIM vice-chair Vittorio Prodi undertook informal discussions with Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, with the idea of “forming an equivalent working group at the European Commission which would be the direct point of contact for CLIM, so that the two institutions [could] coordinate their action on practical projects and implement them more quickly.”105 Though the Commission had been involved in climate change for some time, the formation of this cooperative working environment was one of CLIM’s major accomplishments. The Commission itself acknowledged CLIM’s important role by reiterating that its “tireless efforts have greatly contributed towards shaping the EU position on climate change . . . . We count on the European Parliament to make sure that the EU voice is more widely heard and we appreciate very much the outreach efforts . . . made in the past.”106 Comments such as these display the support that the Commission gave to the EP and the CLIM Committee, recognizing its work and providing with it legitimacy that greatly aided its ability to function effectively. An examination of the procedures and actual work behind the CLIM Committee’s functioning provides much greater insight into its accomplishments. The CLIM Committee was given a robust yet limited mandate. On the one hand it had been tasked with investigating over one of the most divisive topics in contemporary politics. On the other hand, as a temporary committee its powers of legislation were virtually non-existent. In addition to its inability to draft legislation, it was also not entitled to deliver Opinions to other committees, as per Rule 179 of the Rules of Procedure.107 At first glance this would appear to contradict the Committee’s mandate. For example, How can the CLIM Committee “present its findings, make recommendations, coordinate and formulate the EP’s position on climate change” without rendering some form of “opinion” on the subject? The discrepancy can be solved, however, through an explanation of the terms used. An “Opinion” refers in a more technical sense to a formal procedure that would be                                                          103  CLIM Newsletter Sep. 2007. EP Press Service Climate Change: ambitious. 105 “EU parliament's” and EP Press Service Climate Change: ambitious. 106 These remarks are available online. See European Council “Reaction.” 107 EP Rules 94. 104     30  presented to another committee on a particular subject – much like the terms Directive, Decision and Communication are used by the Commission with regard to varying degrees of legal status conferred to a document. The Committee did indeed present statements that could be classified as official opinions about climate change, not least because its role was to be the EP’s voice on the subject. CLIM delivered a great many findings throughout its tenure and in both of its major reports, as will be discussed in greater detail in the next chapter. Approximately halfway into CLIM’s mandate, the standing Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) and Fisheries (PECH) Committees requested permission to draft formal Opinions in response to the final CLIM report. CLIM’s Coordinators, referring to the EPs’ Rules of Procedure, took the position that “formal opinions would be against the philosophy underlying the establishment of a Temporary Committee and would be in contrast with Rule 179.”108 Their attitude is difficult to grasp given that CLIM was to have been an ostensibly transparent actor, at least in the sense that transparency is necessitated due to its horizontal and interdisciplinary mandate. However, their decision to adhere to Rule 179 also serves to highlight the importance of the idea that only a single committee can have jurisdiction over a particular policy issue. This seemingly bureaucratic procedure also ensures that policymaking is kept in the hands of those who are supposed to have it. Indeed, the idea that another committee is unable to give formal Opinions is an attempt to ensure legislative competence and accountability. CLIM’s Work Programme and the Influence of Committee Coordinators The direction and scope of the committees’ actions were determined at regular Coordinators’ Meetings, a highly relevant component of governance in the EP. It is at these meetings that the procedures of a committee (such as the appointment of rapporteurs to draft resolutions) are decided, the agenda is set and problems are resolved. Coordinators’ meetings and regular committee meetings usually occur on the same day during regularly scheduled committee meeting weeks, enabling a more favorable working schedule for MEPs who have this double mandate. The meetings are held behind closed doors (although minutes are published at a later date), with only the Chairman and                                                          108     EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 23 Jan. 2008.  31  Coordinators in attendance.109 Given that CLIM Committee only existed for a brief period within the EP’s 6th legislative cycle, coordinators’ meetings were even more important to MEPs who were often pressed for time due to their additional duties on the CLIM Committee. In fact, because of CLIM’s limited timetable and in order to ensure “a smooth and transparent implementation of the Committee work programme,”110 Sacconi proposed from the outset to extend the coordinators’ meetings to the Bureau (the organization responsible for the CLIM Committee’s administration, e.g. travel, document preparation, etc) and the rapporteur, Florenz.111 Despite the noticeable increase in the number of meeting attendees, this particular format was a more effective use of time and streamlined the administrative processes. This approach also provided Florenz the benefit for greater access to information and the agenda-setting process – crucial for his role as rapporteur – allowing for exchanges of views regarding the work programme and affording him a greater degree of flexibility and competence in drafting the final report. Many of the CLIM Committee’s members were also members of the ENVI Committee.112 The Coordinators thought it “extremely important for CLIM to work in close cooperation and coordination with standing committees, interparliamentary delegations and the Lisbon coordination group…to propose concrete ways of cooperation.”113 External observers also thought that a this sort of teamwork was a good idea because it would help to limit discord amongst MEPs.114 Additionally, the Coordinators wanted to ensure that no conflicting committee meetings would occur during committee weeks, as all MEPs involved also had duties with at least one additional standing committee.115 Initially, this approach ensured effective collaboration. With so many members sitting on both committees, however, the risk of redundancy was greatly increased. CLIM’s existence could therefore have been viewed as a way in which the EP may have had too many chefs spoil the broth, although its many accomplishments would contradict this                                                          109  Coordinators are designated as such by their party peers in the Committee in question. With six party groups in the EP, a typical Coordinators’ Meetings would include seven individuals. 110 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 22 May 2007. 111 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 22 May 2007. The TDIP Temporary Committee had also effectively deployed this solution. 112 This list included MEPs Aylward, Blokland, Bowis, Doyle, Ek, Estrela, Florenz, Groote, Hassi, Holm, Liese, McAvan, Myller, Sacconi, Prodi and Wijkman. 113 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 18 Jun. 2007. 114 Confrontations Europe 4. 115 It could also be said that spillover was resulting in additional duties for parliamentarians. MEPs usually sit on one Committee as a full member and are alternate members on two other committees. MEPs sitting on the CLIM Committee would therefore have duties on four committees: full member on one standing and one temporary committee, and alternating membership on two standing committees.     32  claim. The CLIM Committee’s activities were centered on a series of discussions, each led by a theme leader and featuring a keynote speaker. The Committee also relied on external expertise for much of its scientific knowledge and sent delegations overseas to China, India, Russia and the United States to seek out expertise, foster collaborative ties and publicize the issue. Both the rapporteur and the chairman had high expectations of what the Committee would accomplish. Florenz admitted that there was “a lot of expertise in the Parliament spread over different committees. The main task of the temporary committee [was] to pool this wealth of knowledge.”116 Florenz hoped the Committee would “build upon the existing expertise in the standing committees and in interparliamentary delegations and have regular exchanges with them on issues of mutual interest.”117 Sacconi was even more candid, hoping that the CLIM Committee would “strike a balance in an integrated and multidisciplinary way in a very complex matter with multi-implications..., promote both an active role for the EP, as a protagonist supporting EU negotiators (Council and Commission)…and work more closely with national Parliaments in mobilising Europe.”118 Moreover, the MEPs anticipated that the procedure would “develop a constructive and cooperative working relationship between the temporary committee, the standing committees and the interparliamentary delegations in order to ensure a concerted, coherent and effective contribution from the European Parliament,"119 as outlined in the Committee’s mandate. Florenz and Sacconi clearly had high hopes for the ambitious work programme and were confident that other actors would work with CLIM. As the most prominent figures in the CLIM Committee, they wanted it to be a truly effective institution capable of shaping policy in an innovative and positive way, not the ‘window dressing’ referred to by Graham Watson. Conflicts of Interest One of the reasons behind the formation of the CLIM Committee was the desire to avoid outright conflict between actors with similar competences. While this worked for the                                                          116  EP Press Service, Climate change rapporteur. See also CLIM Newsletter Jul. 2007. EP Press Service, Climate change rapporteur. See also CLIM Newsletter Jul. 2007. 118 EP Press Service, Guido. 119 CLIM Newsletter Jul. 2007. 117     33  most part, there were a number of conflicts that arose throughout its mandate, evidence of the complexities of managing a transversal committee with wide-ranging horizontal responsibilities. Fortunately the EP has procedural safeguards in place to mitigate lasting conflicts of interest between committees. As with issues related to committee competences, conflicts of interest are first referred to committee chairs for resolution. If this is not possible, the Conference of Committee Chairs will attempt to render a solution, and if they are unable to reach a consensus, the Conference of Presidents will make a final decision. Cross-sectoral issues such as climate change can be problematic for the EP, because several committees will have a vested interest in ensuring that their perspectives are heard. In CLIM’s case, most of these conflicts were procedural hurdles and squabbles related to the production of committee reports and were easily resolved at the committee chair level. The coordinators’ meeting minutes provide ample evidence of these events. One of these early conflicts involved an own-initiative report drafted by Satu Hassi, entitled “Limiting global warming to 2°,”120 which originated as a motion from the ENVI Committee. Since the CLIM Committee was mandated both with formulating and coordinating EP’s position on climate change, and because Hassi was a member of both committees, the CLIM Coordinators supported the idea to turn the report into a CLIM Committee resolution.121 This presented a conflict that was only possible to resolve through a meeting of the Conference of Committee Chairs and the endorsement by the Conference of Presidents, as per the mechanism outlined in Rule 179. The Conference of Presidents decided it would be prudent to “make a distinction between the overall policy recommendations – which should be dealt with by the CLIM Committee in the context of the Florenz report – and the more specific pre-legislative issues which should remain with the standing committees in order to allow the EP to give its views on forthcoming legislative proposals in a timely manner.”122 Without the CLIM Committee, the report would have remained on the agenda of the ENVI Committee, but as the report was nonlegislative, Hassi remained responsible for drafting it on behalf of the CLIM Committee. An additional conflict surfaced due to an initiative by the Development Committee (DEVE) to devise an own-initiative report in response to a Commission Communication,                                                          120  EP Resolution on limiting. See also European Commission Limiting. EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 4 Jun. 2007. 122 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 4 Jun. 2007. 121     34  “Building a Global Climate Change Alliance between the EU and poor developing countries.”123 As the ENVI Committee declined to prepare a report on the subject, the DEVE Committee requested permission to do so. An examination of the CLIM Coordinators’ meeting minutes on the subject reveals some definite feelings of consternation. As part of their discussion, the CLIM Coordinators argue that “The DEVE Committee . . . has already appointed Mr Wijkman rapporteur. The issues dealt with in the communication . . . go far beyond mere development policy aspects and . . . the communication would qualify among the global policy documents in the area of climate change that – according to the Conference of Presidents' decision of July 2007 – should be within the remit of CLIM.”124 These lines provide a good practical example of the political positioning that occurs within the confines of the EP between committees. They show that conflicts of interest can and do frequently occur at the parliamentary level, even amongst colleagues. CLIM’s mandate ensured that it would be the only organization gathering crosscutting information related to climate change. The Florenz report, even in its draft stages did include measures that would have addressed the EU’s relations with developing countries. Thus, even if the CLIM’s Coordinators felt that the DEVE Committee was overstepping its boundaries, their justification for wanting to take decisive action can be seen as warranted, if only to avoid redundancy. In order to mediate the conflict, Sacconi met with DEVE Chairman Borrell and rapporteur Wijkman. The outcome was a decision to not object to DEVE’s report, on three conditions: that their report would not “prejudge” the position taken by CLIM in the Florenz report regarding international aspects; that CLIM would receive regular updates of the DEVE report timetable (so as to allow CLIM members to table amendments); that a presentation of Wijkman’s report would be made to the CLIM Committee.125 It is possible that Wijkman’s participation in both the DEVE and CLIM committees contributed to this resolution. This example serves to highlight the crosscollaboration that is exactly what CLIM’s mandate intended to achieve (ironically as the result of a small conflict of interest).                                                          123  See European Commission Building. This alliance would assist in capacity building-measures in developing states most vulnerable to climate change. 124 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 10 Mar. 2008. 125 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 27 Mar. 2008. Another option would have been to have ENVI draft an own-initiative report concerning the effects of climate change on development.     35  The Committee in Perspective The growing interdisciplinary nature of the climate change issue necessitated a separate institution to tackle the problem. The CLIM Committee was born because of this need. The Committee was given a complex and highly regarded area of responsibility, and significant powers to help it effectively deal with its mandate, which was to define the EP’s stance on climate change and develop proposals for a future climate change policy for the entire EU. This initiative by the EP demonstrated its own growth vis-à-vis its institutional peers and its becoming a key player in the European political milieu.126 The capability of the EP to introduce novel actors, bring about policy innovations and have a say in setting the EU’s political agenda count amongst its most significant achievements. The EP is only part of the story, however. Committees play an important role in the EP by shaping legislation and developing policy innovations. Temporary Committees, in particular, have a special place in the EP. They can be differentiated from standing committees in a number of ways, most notably their levels of actorness, functions and powers. Because they are tasked with very specific areas of responsibility and given precise goals, their mandates are quite different from those of standing committees, whose mandates are consistent and often mundane. For example, the CLIM Committee set out an ambitious work programme highlighted by several thematic sessions, international delegations and guest speakers, while standing committees most often spend their time deliberating pieces of legislation. Although lacking in actual legislative power, CLIM’s status as a temporary committee was otherwise not indicative of its actual influence. For the most part, the CLIM Committee was a highly regarded institution within the EP. It was a novel actor that was tasked for the first time with pursuing an issue that involved cutting across so many existing political boundaries. Creating such a temporary committee was necessary to effectively pool and disseminate the knowledge spread across various parliamentary committees on the topic of climate change. Doing so caused CLIM to become the go-to authority on climate change within the EP, culminating in the release of an interim scientific report and a provocative final report. The crosscutting structure of the CLIM Committee also helped it set a number of procedural precedents within the EP, even going                                                          126     Ironically, while the CLIM Committee was a relatively powerful institution, the EP is viewed by many to be a relatively weak actor.  36  so far as to impact parliamentary reforms, which will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter Five. Records also show that although CLIM encouraged cooperation and collaboration within the EP, it did encounter some opposition, especially from the ALDE political party grouping early in its tenure. Redundancy also became an issue, as other committees (notably DEVE, PECH and AGRI) found that CLIM occasionally hindered their own initiatives. These instances stand out as exceptions rather than the norm, however. The existence of such a collaborative temporary committee did provide some challenges for the EP and MEPs (increased workloads notwithstanding). However, the overall goals expressed in its mandate as well as the eventual results of the work programme – both revolutionary in their own right – provide a considerable counterbalance for any negative appraisals. The CLIM Committee worked across multiple policy areas in the EP, addressing a multidisciplinary issue that had hitherto not received as much attention. Neofunctionalism posits the idea that spillover is cross-cutting in and of its very nature and CLIM’s actions throughout its tenure are evidence of this. Early on the Committee promoted extensive cooperation on climate change that was both necessary and desirable. Neo-functionalism also argues that institutional spillover is essentially continuation of existing supranational cooperation. As a firmly entrenched supranational actor in the EU, the EP was not only able to instigate this spillover by forming the CLIM Committee; it was also able to continue driving integration, giving the Committee a robust and pioneering mandate with the goals of increasing cooperation and collaboration. The EP thus ensured that CLIM would function effectively as a strong supranational actor. Situating CLIM within the theoretical arguments, therefore, shows that the Committee was most definitely the product of institutional spillover. Indeed, this element of neo-functionalism gives CLIM’s formation, mandate and actions a common causal link. More generally, institutional supranationalism shows how the EU’s supranational actors have developed over time. That the EP itself was able to create another supranational actor focused on bringing a variety of viewpoints together in this way shows just how far European integration has come.     37  CHAPTER 4  REPORTAGE The CLIM Committee’s primary task was to prepare a report delineating the EP’s position on climate change. Given the magnitude of this project, the Committee’s coordinators appointed veteran ENVI Committee MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz to the position of rapporteur. Florenz benefitted immensely from the mounting international concern and the large amount of data, legislation, literature and scientific expertise on the subject already in existence. To be sure, the report built on the work that had been conducted by various EU institutions (notably the Commission), much of it relatively recently. The report essentially distilled much of this information into a single, concise and comprehensive document. Florenz’ report, entitled “2050 – The Future Begins Today” became the CLIM Committee’s magnum opus.  The Future Begins Today One of CLIM’s significant innovations was coming away from the idea that temporary committees should only produce a single report. This novel approach required a series of own-initiative reports in addition to its final report. These reports regularly delved into the policy areas of other committees, including AGRI, BUDG, DEVE, ECON, ENVI, ITRE and TRAN, and regular referenced their work. CLIM’s final report had its roots in a particular interim scientific report that the CLIM Committee produced partway through its mandate.127 This highly technical document laid out the scientific facts relating to climate change and helped CLIM more clearly focus its work leading up to the final report. True to its mandate and the goals of its leadership, the interim report was able to “lay the foundation for the broader work,”128 with the ultimate result in the form of “a European climate change policy business card - a vision for Europe - which we can show to [the EU’s] international partners.”129                                                          127  EP Scientific. CLIM Newsletter May 2008. 129 CLIM Newsletter May 2008. 128     38  The Florenz report outlines the EP’s integrated goals towards developing a climate action strategy for the coming decades and encourages the development of a strong vision and action plan to deal with climate change. In line with the Committee’s mandate and actions, the report calls for “a horizontal approach – to incorporate global warming and ensuing climate change as new parameters into all spheres and policies, and to take the causes and consequences of global warming into account in every relevant area of European legislation . . . based on a long-term perspective.”130 Some of these measures include initiatives aimed at securing a post-2012 deal on climate change to follow the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the move for a so-called “Green New Deal,” which would focus on economic and social innovations aimed at investment in sustainable business practices and green technologies. In adopting the report, the EP recognized that “climate change is a global environmental problem the causes of which are structural in nature.”131 The final text of the adopted document prompts the EU to “face up to climate change and its effects by means of political and educational measures based on a long-term perspective and by implementing decisions in a coherent way, not subordinating them to short-term political goals.”132 It also encourages taking “decisions out of a conviction that they are necessary and correct.”133 The document also warns against “economic pessimism,” such as that which would accompany a global recession, or otherwise compromise environmental issues at the expense of the economy. Even though the Committee’s goal was “not to repeat statements already made elsewhere”134 it was difficult to for MEPs to communicate anything scientifically new and innovative as many of the key facts had already been stated in other documents such at the IPCC reports. In contrast to the scientific findings presented in the Interim Report, however, the Florenz report is more a work of analyses and recommendations. Much like the CLIM Committee, the report’s significance is not necessarily found within the substance of its contents, rather in the production itself. It was the first time a report presented such a vast volume of information in a very comprehensive manner, involving                                                           130 131 132 133 134     EP 2050. EP 2050. EP 2050. EP 2050. CLIM Newsletter May 2008.  39  the input of many disciplines, committees and policy areas and satisfying the requirements of various stakeholders.  Reactions to the Report In his final CLIM Newsletter column, Florenz stated he was pleased with the course of the committee’s work, heralding the report as a major step forward. He was satisfied with CLIM’s results “because the composition of the committee was very diverse: industry politicians, energy politicians, environmental politicians. For once we didn't talk about but with each other.”135 Comments by Florenz himself clearly outline the benefits of the CLIM Committee’s approach: The procedure of using this horizontal committee was something new. We didn’t just have discussions with experts in one small group but we talked about this with people from the Transport Committee, we talked about it with people from economics committee and also people from the energy sector, and it was very clear that the teething stages of the debate were rather difficult because it was an entirely new procedure . . . . And basically, the result is that we found this horizontal cooperation is a great opportunity and in the future parliament we should see to it that people talk together more and not that different groups play one off against the other.136 Reactions by others towards CLIM’s horizontal approach were of an equally favorable opinion. Sacconi spoke with high regard of the “positive results of the idea of multidisciplinary work”137 and noted “several standing committees of the EP have very fruitfully cooperated”138 with CLIM. Without this collaboration, the Committee would never have achieved its goals. Having successfully produced an all-encompassing and multidisciplinary report was no small feat for the Committee, especially given the large numbers of amendment and controversial issues that had to be tackled. Florenz also stated that while publication of the report was significant, it was more important that “a                                                           135 136 137 138     Florenz “Interview.” Florenz “Reaction.” CLIM Newsletter Feb. 2009. CLIM Newsletter Feb. 2009.  40  real integrated set of measures”139 to combat climate change had been developed for the first time. Comments by the Greens were similar in tone, largely praising the measures proposed as well the “innovative and constructive discussions”140 that ultimately led to the adoption of the interim and final reports. The positive reaction from the Greens would normally not be surprising, although the group’s decision to abstain from the original vote to form CLIM makes their sentiments more compelling. In the end, even the more skeptical ALDE was no longer openly hostile to CLIM, and mustered some favorable comments – though the group also criticized the report for not acknowledging rampant population growth as a climate change driver.141 Ultimately, there were predominantly positive reviews for work which “led to very good results…[and] functioned in an excellent way.”142 Despite the fact that the Commission had been active in fighting climate change for several years – and given its sole right of legislative initiation – it was very positive in its appraisal of the Florenz Report. This reflects the cooperation that had resulted from the Commission’s close work with the EP and CLIM. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas noted that the report essentially “continues the Commission’s analysis”143 and reiterated Florenz’ view that it would be a useful tool for international negotiations by “raising awareness on this issue and . . . placing the challenge of climate change very high on the international agenda.”144 Indeed, CLIM’s interparliamentary delegations to China, India, Russia and the United States helped to promote greater dialogue on climate change in the international arena. The Council echoed these sentiments, stating that the report “will provide a very useful basis when discussing the options for a post-2012 climate agreement and for further deepening the EU climate policies.”145 The timing of the report’s adoption in committee on December 10, 2008 also displayed that “Europe is                                                           139  CLIM Newsletter Feb. 2009. Greens. 141 Davies. 142 CLIM Newsletter Feb. 2009. 143 Dimas and European Commission Press Room Climate change Commission. 144 CLIM Newsletter Feb. 2008. 145 See European Council. The Commission and Council’s comments were characteristic of the very diplomatic language used by bureaucrats in the EU, which attempts to focus in a very general sense on the benefits of the agreement, without delving into specific details. Still, a finer reading of the comments will show that the overall desires of the CLIM Committee – to collaborate with various institutions and actors – were realized. 140     41  willing to take the lead”146 on climate change and ensured that the EU had something concrete to present in the Poznan climate change conference.147  CLIM vs. CARE The Florenz Report is heavy with references to previous Commission actions, and intersects most notably with the Commission’s Climate and Renewable Energy (CARE) Package. CARE was a collection of proposals introduced by the Commission in January 2008 with the intention of legislating the EU’s climate change goals. CARE’s core elements included laws regulating automotive emissions, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy goals, as well as effort sharing between the Member States. Some of these provisions led to widespread debate between Member States, which weighed heavily on the co-decision procedure. The EP and the Council ultimately adopted a much watered-down form of CARE in mid-December 2008, amidst a decisive push in favor of he legislation by the French EU Presidency. The debate over CARE coincided with the vote in the CLIM Committee on the Florenz Report. The Florenz report and the CARE Package contain a number of similarities, including the widely marketed 20/20/20 by 2020 targets.148 The fact that the Florenz Report and the CARE Package were drafted and debated in tandem ensured that climate change remained a highly publicized policy issue. Both initiatives benefitted from the concurrent existence of the other, contained many of the same long-term visions and complemented each other’s contents. The relative success in the French EU Presidency’s push for adopting the CARE Package could therefore be attributed the work of the CLIM Committee, which at the minimum bolstered the public perceptions of the climate change issue. In addition to this, many MEPs were heavily involved in both projects. Sacconi stated the simultaneous negotiations are “crucial for the EU to maintain its credibility and its leadership position in the international negotiations.”149 He was also confident that the                                                          146  CLIM Newsletter Dec. 2008. Also known as the COP-14 Conference, the events at Poznan ran from December 1 to 12, 2008. The ongoing and simultaneous negotiations on the CARE package also proved to be a significant contribution to the Conference, especially because it carried legislative weight. 148 The 20/20/20 by 2020 targets include a 20% cut in emissions (compared to 1990 levels), a 20% increase in the share of renewable energy and a 20% cut in energy consumption through improved efficiency. These targets are to be met by 2020 at the latest. For more information, see “EU action” and European Commission 20 20. 149 CLIM Newsletter Oct. 2008. 147     42  Florenz Report ”could give inspiration and usefully contribute to outlining the future policy-making in climate and related areas as well as suggesting future legislative actions and better implementation of already existing legislation.”150 Both the CARE Package and the Florenz Report were even lobbied against in similar ways. The CARE Package that was adopted in late 2008 was particularly watereddown from its original version, due in part to the normal negotiating processes as well as the growing concerns over economic implications that might result from more robust climate change legislation. Many eleventh-hour adjustments ensured that the powerful automotive, manufacturing and industrial lobby groups got at least some leeway, particularly in Eastern European States. Threats of vetoes over the emissions issue by Italy and Poland in particular made the passage of legislation difficult.151 In this regard, it is also useful to recall the importance of lobbying at the Member State level, since Heads of State ultimately decided upon the final provisions in a Council meeting. The problems encountered during the passage of the CARE package present clear arguments to support the idea that the environment and climate change in particular are issues in need of (and susceptible to) broad-based collaboration. The Florenz Report is certainly no exception to the tendency to produce watered down final versions of legislative and non-legislative documents. By November 4, over 500 amendments to the initial draft had been tabled. Florenz commended his shadow rapporteurs, whom he thought had “collaborated in a very constructive way,”152 allowing him to work through the many proposals in only one month.153 The workload brought on by these proposed changes was indeed overwhelming to Florenz and his assistants, but it also shows the sensitivities of the many stakeholders involved in the discussions.154 One regional lobby group declared that this fact highlighted the report’s “political importance.”155 Florenz was well aware of the special interest lobbies that would seek to water down the report and eventually downplay the report’s relevance. Some of the biggest arguments over the report actually came from within the ranks of Florenz’ own political                                                          150  CLIM Newsletter Oct. 2008. “Italy.” 152 CLIM Newsletter Dec. 2008. 153 “Meeting.” 154 See Florenz “Request.” If the report were legally binding, there would almost certainly have been more proposed amendments. 155 Miller. 151     43  grouping, the industry friendly EPP. As a result of some internal compromises, the areas of the report centered on emissions (particularly from automobiles, industry and agriculture) receive decidedly less scrutiny, or are more vaguely written and with weaker language. In some cases, the problems arising from increasing emissions are discussed quite explicitly, but in general the report lacks specific targets for these areas. Making large-scale financial contributions towards the fight against climate change has still remained political fodder for those who are adamantly against it. To counter this threat, Florenz made extensive use of the groundbreaking Stern Report as the basis for his proposals, in particular making note of the widely cited idea that only 1% of global GDP is necessary expenditure to combat climate change.156 Florenz and his committee colleagues decided “the highest priority must be given to climate change and measures to combat it…in the next financial framework (2009-2013).”157 The policies are similar to those proposed by the Commission’s CARE package, particularly the idea that “climate change has to stay at the top of everyone's agenda even in economically hard times.”158 As it stands, the final Florenz report contains no concrete proposals for highly controversial subjects such as agricultural and aviation emissions. It is however, peppered with calls to action and to change other specific practices, including calls for an increase in renewable energy use, protection of biodiversity and “greener” construction practices. In addition to presenting the EP’s position and the future integrated EU climate change policy, the Final Florenz Report (and its associated resolution passed in plenary) presented a number of short- and long-term recommendations for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, including recommendations to dedicate funds to environmentally friendly projects.159 The Report carries a blunt and serious message urging EU bureaucrats to take meaningful action to combat global climate change. Ultimately, no area escaped scrutiny, as Florenz’ goal was to create a strong and workable document for all sectors.                                                           156  Stern. EP Press Service Climate Change Committee. 158 “Climate change: what is the EP doing about it?” 159 Proposals include a 25-40% emissions reduction by 2020, rising to at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels); binding interim energy efficiency targets of 20% by 2020; a European Climate Fund to provide incentives for everyone to reduce emissions; the incorporation of climate change into all spheres and policies. 157     44  CHAPTER 5  FUTURE INNOVATIONS This thesis has thus far considered some of the intricacies of EP governance, the CLIM Committee’s mandate, work programme and activities, and the Florenz Report. In this section, it will continue the discussion of the Committee’s work, and delve deeper into the reforms of the EP itself, importance of EU public opinion on the environment and the future of climate change policy in the EU. It will show how the CLIM Committee has been instrumental in bringing about key reforms in the EP, but also how these could have a detrimental impact on the formation of future temporary committees. It will also argue that the EP is and will continue to be a major policy driver in the EU, especially because of its close ties to the citizenry. Finally, the future of climate change policy and the propensity for additional novel actors – including the potential to revive the CLIM Committee – will be examined.  CLIM’s Impact on EP Reforms The CLIM Committee’s existence came at a crucial time for the EP. An initiative began in 2008 by then President Hans-Gert Pöttering to reform the Parliament’s procedures benefitted greatly from the CLIM’s Committee’s accomplishments. The so-called “Working Party on Parliamentary Reform” was an internal group headed by MEP Dagmar Roth-Behrendt. It was charged with investigating how to update the EP’s governance processes to ensure that it remained a powerful and dynamic institution in the future. The working group presented three reports covering all aspects of EP procedures. Its final report, adopted in March 2009, considered the workings of committees and interparliamentary delegations. The CLIM Committee held an exchange of views with Roth-Behrendt to assist in preparing this report. Since climate change proved to be a watershed topic during the 2004-2009 parliamentary term, the discussants were keen to determine “on which means and possibilities could be envisaged in the next legislative term to address issues of cross   45  sectoral nature.”160 The climate change dossier provided an especially acute example of the strong desire during this legislative term to debate certain issues across committees rather than designating a single committee to look into the matter. The CLIM Committee’s mandate and overall functioning were instrumental in forging the new approaches to committee relations within the EP. The parliamentary working group’s report was supported by changes agreed to by the Conference of Presidents. These included recommending renaming “temporary” committees as “special” or “select” committees, increasing cooperation between committees and using jointcommittee meetings for crosscutting legislative dossiers. Roth-Berendt’s suggestion to rename temporary committees “in order to demonstrate their special nature…[and] confer on this term a more positive connotation”161 rather than relying on a clearly delimited time period make much more sense, especially when compared to the American legislative branch, for example, which uses this nomenclature.162 Furthermore, the idea that the “setting-up of such committees should be considered exclusively in the event of exceptional circumstances and in cases linked to specific non-legislative objectives”163 takes note of the fact that not every issue is and should be dealt with by a single dedicated actor. In this context, the recommendation to allow temporary committees greater flexibility in drafting own initiative reports is a significant development indeed.164 The intended result of the working group’s document is to present findings that ensure that committees are able to function effectively, regardless of their intended length of operation, allowing such actors to more readily reach the objectives outlined in their mandates. The CLIM Committee’s mandate was very broad and its research encompassed a variety of themes. Some might say there is little left for the EP to say on the topic of climate change. At the time of the Florenz Report’s release, however, CLIM’s coordinators noted that “climate change has to remain very high and visible on the political agenda of the next Parliament and that this should be somehow reflected also in its structure.”165                                                          160  EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 15 Jul. 2008. EP Working Party Third 8. 162 Hix, et al. “Institutional” 3. Hix, et al. sees the U.S. Congress as an institutional “leader,” due in part to the extent of scholarly research devoted to this institution. 163 EP Working Party Third 8. 164 EP Press Service Parliamentary. 165 EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 26 Jan. 2009. 161     46  This would suggest that the desire for further committee activities related to the climate change issue. But, because the presentation of the Committee’s final report signalled the end of the CLIM Committee as a parliamentary actor, a new entity would have to be created. Some politicians including former CLIM Committee Vice-Chair Prodi have advanced the idea that the EP could revive the CLIM Committee in the 7th legislative term.166 The idea is not unheard of, since climate change is currently an ongoing issue that must be addressed by a number of institutions in concert. The remit of such a committee would have to be much more specifically defined, however, and a number of existing procedural questions would also have to be answered: What would the new committee’s mandate look like? What sort of report would it be charged with producing? Would it have similar, greater, or smaller power? It is feasible that climate change might be delegated to a permanent subcommittee, though its powers would be much more limited than CLIM’s were. There would also undoubtedly be some hesitation to the proposal, similar to that which accompanied the CLIM Committee’s formation, from former members as well as present MEPs and Committee members who would deem this to be either too much or too little. The Working Group on Parliamentary Reform also opposed this strategy. With reference to the CLIM Committee, the group’s final report “does not foresee any specific proposal for a ‘body’ of horizontal or other nature dealing with climate change”167 in the future. Because the Working Group on Parliamentary Reform holds considerable sway over the parliamentary leadership, however, it is unlikely that a temporary committee or any other novel actor with similar powers will be formed. It is still too early to say with any certainty whether the Conference of Presidents will continue to heed the working group’s suggestions, however, given that European Elections have only recently taken place and the conference to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol’s successor treaty is still upcoming. Even if the Committee were to be revitalized, it would most likely not be formed until at least 2010. In the meantime, the Commission will continue to be the primary driver of EU climate change policy.                                                           166 167     Prodi. EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 26 Jan. 2009.  47  The Role of European Public Opinion With all of the hoopla surrounding climate change in recent years, it is somewhat surprising to discover that the EU’s first public opinion surveys on the subject were only publicized in 2007.168 The reasons for a relative late start in these polls are many. For one, there has been no shortage of large-scale events affecting (often disrupting) the everyday lives of EU citizens. Most recently, the global economic crisis of 2008-9 has impacted millions of Europeans. Other issues, such as energy security, eastern enlargement, international terrorism and the inception of the Euro have without a doubt also played a large role in the public consciousness. The dynamism of the EU has also affected the way it measures public opinion. These measurements have evolved along with the EU over the years, with the result that the frequency and typology of the benchmark Eurobarometer surveys have changed since their earliest inceptions. Currently, the legal framework does not allow any Institutions other than the Commission to request Eurobarometer surveys.169 Thus, in order to assess the public’s current opinion on climate change, the EP was required to collaborate with the Commission, launching a joint Eurobarometer survey in 2009 to obtain this data. An examination of public opinion gathered since 2007 reveals a noticeable shift in perceptions about the issues surrounding climate change. As late as March 2007, most climate change concerns were reflected in surveys about energy security. Results of this study (conducted prior to the start of CLIM’s mandate) on Europe’s energy future noted that an “overwhelming majority of European Union citizens are concerned about climate change…[and] feel that the best way to tackle energy-related issues would be at EU level.”170 These results suggest that public awareness about climate change (possibly through the EU’s own publicity engines) had increased. Eighteen months later, a Special Eurobarometer published in September 2008 (near the end of CLIM’s mandate) revealed that “Europeans are highly concerned about climate change and clearly willing to take action against it [but] feel poorly informed about . . . ways to help fight it.”171 CLIM’s coordinator’s noted that the 2008 results “suggest that actions need to be taken to better                                                          168  European Commission Public Opinion Monitoring Unit Standard Eurobarometer 69. EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 23 Jan. 2008. 170 European Commission Press Room Eurobarometer. 171 European Commission Press Room Climate change: Strong. 169     48  inform the citizens on the causes and consequences of climate change”172 and requested that regular surveys be conducted “in order to monitor the evolution of Europeans’ attitudes”173 as climate change continues to evolve as an issue of concern. It is somewhat problematic that EU citizens still felt ill-informed about particular aspects of the EU’s climate actions in 2008, nearly a decade after the launch of the European Climate Change Programme and following a number of high-profile public events to publicize the issue, such as CLIM’s Citizens Agora. The results of the 2008 survey indicate a lack of initiative among the general public in the fight against climate change, an issue that had been highly publicized in recent years. In the wake of a global economic downturn, however, the standard Eurobarometer results released in July 2009 show a decisive shift in public attention towards areas concerning economic and social issues, and away from “collective issues of a global nature such as terrorism, immigration and climate change.”174 Indeed, because climate change and other environmental concerns are not tangible economic issues, they are often the first to fall from the public eye. Despite the apparent fluctuations in public interest, climate change remains in many ways a very prevalent issue, even if it is not the current issue of contention. It could be argued that climate change has remained in the public eye as a result of political branding. To be sure, cross-cutting problems like climate change can mobilize the electorate, particularly through political parties that can “provide brand names with wellknown and recognizable platforms and a reputation that has value with voters.”175 Branding thus provides politicians with both a means of communication with the electorate and gives voters a measure of politicians’ reliability in engaging particular issue areas. Party involvement can thereby allow for a greater focus on specific policies, since it means that topics such as climate change can be discussed more clearly and readily. Branding the term “climate change” on to a parliamentary Committee could therefore be seen as an effective exercise in raising public awareness about the issue. It then becomes much easier for lawmakers to gather support for complex or controversial legislation. Ideally, following the work of the CLIM Committee, public perceptions of the                                                          172  EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 4 Nov. 2008. EP CLIM Committee Secretariat, Coordinators’ 4 Nov. 2008. 174 European Commission Public Opinion Monitoring Unit Special. 175 Hix, et al. 8-9. 173     49  climate change issue would have demonstrably increased. As the EP is the EU citizens’ direct link176 to the EU, ensuring that it can win public trust and support (one of CLIM’s original aims) were high on its agenda. It would be presumptuous, however, to state that the Committee’s sole intention was to significantly impact public opinion, or even that its actions alone had a marked impact on public opinion during its tenure. Indeed, CLIM’s mandate was not necessarily to enlighten the public, rather to put forth an official and informed parliamentary position on climate change. It is possible that CLIM may have affected public opinion on climate change but such a statement would be highly speculative since pubic perceptions of climate change may have increased or decreased within the span of a year independent of the Committee’s existence. As both the 2007 and 2008 Eurobarometer surveys were conducted before the CLIM presented its final report, however, it cannot be said with any certainty whether the Committee and the EP had failed entirely in informing and interacting with the general public. Until amore comprehensive system is introduced to measure directly the relative impact of committees such as CLIM it will remain difficult to gauge their effectiveness as actors.  The Future of EU Environmental Policy Although active with climate change policy for several years now, the EU has been moving at multiple speeds on the subject. The 6th Environment Action Programme – which, for the first time, defined climate change as a priority area of focus of European environmental policy until 2010 – was only adopted in 2002,177 several years after the Kyoto Protocol was signed. In addition, no explicit mention of climate change is made in documents relating to the more recently highly publicized Lisbon Strategy, even though the environment forms one of the three central pillars of this initiative. The Florenz Report, however, states that the Lisbon Treaty “explicitly lays down the objectives and competences of the EU in the field of climate change.”178 Indeed, Article 191 of the Treaty states that the EU’s “policy on the environment shall contribute to the pursuit of . . .                                                          176  This is expected to change with the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which would allow for citizens initiatives to be brought to the EU. The most likely avenue through which to bring legislative proposals, however, will likely remain the EP. See “Treaty of Lisbon.” 177 “Environment.” 178 EP 2050.     50  measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change.”179 The official Lisbon Treaty web site also states that the international fight against climate change is a “cornerstone of the EU’s environment policy,” for which the Treaty will set out clear definitions to reinforce EU action, even though climate change is only mentioned in this single instance.180 It appears at though the EU’s presentation of climate change has strengthened over the years in line with the growing awareness of the general public on the issue and the development of more coherent policies developed in part through the creation new actors such as CLIM. In considering the future of EU environmental policy, it is important to take into account both the Commission’s longstanding role in combating climate change, as well as the EP’s representative role within the framework of EU governance. The Commission’s attempts at fighting climate change are evidence of rigid, top-down policy-making that has characterised it as a supranational actor. Through the creation of the CLIM Committee, the EP showed that it had considerable supranational strength as well. CLIM was a far more effective institution through which to engage the EU citizenry. In the case of climate change, it did so through a Citizens’ Agora (a component of the CLIM Committee’s mandate), as well as through the work of the MEPs themselves. As a Committee, CLIM was also a forum for citizens’ concerns, while the EP more generally is seen as the most direct trustworthy and influential point of contact that a European has with his or her supranational government. There may be a need for further EU reforms and additional spillover, to grapple with complex interdisciplinary issues such as climate change. Ensuring that climate change will be kept in a position of high policy priority could be difficult for the EU, given the ever-growing number of political problems it is faced with. Indeed, the EU’s own growth and harmonization processes have generated as many problems as solutions. For example, there is a belief that the “effects of enlargement on environmental policy will be felt not only in more difficult negotiation processes within the Council but also in less environment-friendly attitudes inside the parliament.”181 This idea is corroborated the fact that during negotiations on the CARE Package, “most of the                                                          179  EU Treaty 132. “Policies” 181 Lenschow 317. 180     51  fights [over the CARE Package] were between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers.”182 Indeed, the conflict between the Parliament and Council has been ongoing for years, as the co-decision process has been argued to be long, cumbersome, and disproportionately favouring of the Council.183 This is a problem that could pose a problem in the future, especially when environmental or climate change measures are being discussed. The growth of environmental policymaking in the EU and the emergence of climate change as a central theme will necessitate giving the public easier and more effective access to their policymaking institutions. This may result in the formation of new actors and other forms of institutional spillover to address the issues of Europeans.                                                           182 183     Hassi. The development of the EU’s legislative branch of government has over the years ensured that the EP and the Council are together responsible for jointly examining climate change legislation, although neither institution has absolute power over the other. Hix Political, provides additional details about the discrepancies between these two institutions.  52  CONCLUSION This thesis has explored the creation of the CLIM Committee in the European Parliament, its role in the climate change policy arena and its influence on the EU’s governance processes. It has shown that the Committee’s work has had far-reaching effects on the EU’s climate change policy as well as its investigative and legislative methods. A unique horizontal approach and robust cross-sectoral mandate allowed CLIM to gather a vast amount of information on climate change from a host of sources and present it in a concise and comprehensive manner. CLIM’s success lies in the fact that it fostered extensive cooperation between established parliamentary committees, which had never before occurred in the EP. As a result, the CLIM Committee became an important contributor to the climate change debate in the EU, helping to bring about significant policy innovations and setting political precedents along the way. The political debate surrounding climate change features highly on political agendas around the world. It is an extensively complex and contentious issue for many governments, particularly those with strong dependence on industry, energy and transportation, such as the EU. Through the European Commission, the EU has been actively involved in combating climate change since the late 1990s. Some EU Member States have also made efforts in this regard, as had the EP. As the climate change dossier grew beyond the institutional capacity of the EP’s ENVI Committee and the issue itself grew in prevalence, a new political actor was needed to address climate change exclusively. Several theoretical frameworks have been postulated to explain the dynamic political processes affecting the EU, in particular its status as an actor and the role of its institutions. Liberal intergovernmentalism and neo-functionalism provide especially good lenses through which to view European integration. An examination of these theories with relation to the forming of CLIM has pointed to a compelling causal narrative focused on institutional spillover as posited by neo-functionalism. According to the spillover argument, CLIM formed out of an institutional need for a novel actor to tackle the problems presented by climate change. It also displays the EP as a supranational    53  institution with ever-increasing powers, including the ability to create innovative political actors to deal with complex issues. The EP formed CLIM as a Temporary Committee in 2007, with the intention of having it coordinate the EP’s stance on climate change and formulate proposals for the EU’s future actions in the field. The plan was to accomplish this through a mandate that consulted a broad spectrum of stakeholders, fostering a great cooperative effort to address this wide-ranging issue. CLIM’s unique and ambitious work programme involved a series of thematic discussions, expert hearings and visits abroad by international delegations, all culminating in a final report drafted by Karl-Heinz Florenz. The Florenz Report effectively pooled and disseminated vast amount of previously collected scientific data and presented significant policy recommendations in he area of climate change. The creation of this report proved to be significant task as approximately 500 amendments had been tabled and reviewed. Ultimately, it was well received by all parliamentary committees and supported by the European Commission, even as its own CARE Package addressing climate change was making its debut. The effectiveness of CLIM and the Florenz report is demonstrated by their impact on the EU’s climate change policy. Although CLIM was not a legislator, its policy influence was still felt because it had the support of the Commission and the public. The creation of such an actor has also revolutionized the EP’s own politics, bolstering the influence of temporary committees and highlighting their importance in the EU’s supranational governance framework as well as strengthening relationships between existing committees. The CLIM Committee effectively showed that it could take vast amount of information from the public and private sector and bridge the gaps between a number of often competitive actors. Because of its horizontal nature, CLIM covered areas that crossed multiple boundaries, and a number of conflicts did arise throughout its tenure. These conflicts were readily overcome, however, through outreach and communication and in the end served to include more views in its multidisciplinary investigation. The CLIM Committee’s existence ensured that it would be a catalyst for further political action, cooperation and collaboration. This also helped to spur a series of long-awaited parliamentary reforms, including the increased use of joint committees to address specific    54  interdisciplinary issues as well as more reporting power being given to temporary committees. Given the significance of its impact, it is reasonable to presume that the CLIM Committee was a breakthrough organization and major policy innovator. It was tasked with a relatively broad subject matter, with the result that it exerted extensive influence for an actor of its type. As it was the EP’s principal climate change actor, the Committee was given a great degree of leverage and garnered a lot of political clout. It became a highly influential novel actor, a role that put it in place to critically influence other policy-making bodies. CLIM produced a great deal of publicity for the climate change issue, which helped garner the EP much respect vis-à-vis the Council and Commission. Having a widely recognized political actor also helped to give the climate change issue greater credibility than it otherwise would not have had. Climate change is a significant problem that can only be countered through unique institutional arrangements, such as those founded by the EP and the EU. Cross-cutting issues such as this continue to spur institutional spillover and reforms to governance processes that effectively redistribute powers amongst political actors. The EP in particular benefitted from this kind of evolution in the EU, gaining considerable powers of codecision over the years and becoming a more powerful political actor in its own right. By forming CLIM, the EP also showed that it was not only capable of prompting spillover within its own political processes, but that this spillover led to increased cooperation and has prompted further integration. CLIM’s existence thus helped to promote the idea that neo-functionalism provides the most compelling explanation for the processes of European integration. The creation of the CLIM Committee shows that the EP, the supposed weakest of the EU’s governing bodies, overcame the challenges of working at a supranational level through inspired leadership and initiative. Viewed in this context, the role and legacy of the CLIM Committee will certainly continue positively impact the EP in the years to come. The aim of this thesis was to highlight the role of CLIM and discuss an emerging trend of novel actorness in European politics. It has also set the foundations for more allencompassing research of novel actors in national and supranational contexts. Devising a     55  methodologically sound model and theoretical framework could help in examining this type of political actorness in a multitude of other areas. The CLIM Committee showed just how a complex issue like climate change can and should be handled; that is, horizontally and including as many interests as possible. The Committee became a prime example of novel actorness, and its mandate and work programme covered nearly every conceivable topic related to climate change. What amazed many people was that operated with ease and became so incredibly successful, especially given that it was charged with a dossier considered by many to be a political quagmire. The CLIM Committee provided solid evidence that temporary committees of parliament – and novel actors more generally – can and should be used when considering specific cross-cutting issues such as climate change. –– World leaders will gather in Copenhagen in 2009 to negotiate the successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. The CLIM Committee’s contributions to the European position on the topic of climate change will not go unnoticed. With no signs of climate change being pushed from the EU’s long-term agenda and with the 2008 European elections having just recently concluded, there is talk of CLIM’s revival. This is technically not impossible and is desired by some MEPs as well as NGOs focused on environmental and climate change issues. Though there may be some justification to give a new novel actor in this field more than simply “temporary” status, there are also concerns with giving too much power to such horizontal agendas. Because of the EP’s organizational limitations, it is unlikely that the CLIM Committee would be revived in the short-term. It is certainly plausible in the long-term, however, as more time could be given to assuage political reservations. In the absence of another novel EP actor in the field of climate change, future environmental policy in this area will likely continue to be determined under the Commission’s leadership. Though powerful in its own right, the EP will continue to play only a supporting role, although the successful ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, coupled with a desirable outcome at the Copenhagen Conference in 2009 will help to more clearly define the EP’s role as a climate change actor within the EU. The EP only stands to benefit from enhancements to the co-decision procedure as well as its own in-house reforms. In any    56  case, the significance of climate change as a global phenomenon is continuing to attract attention, and politics will have to continue to evolve in order to address this issue.     57  WORKS CITED Amnesty International. Nigeria: Petroleum, Pollution and Poverty in the Niger Delta. London: Amnesty International Publications, 2009. Print. Burns, Charlotte. “The European Parliament: The European Union’s Environmental Champion.” Environmental Policy in the European Union. 2nd ed. Ed. Andrew Jordan. London: Earthscan, 2005. 87-105. Print. 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