When 'green' is not always sustainable: The inconvenient truth of the EU energy policy

Francesc Morata, Israel Solorio Sandoval

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 2007 European Council, both sustainable development and the fight against climate change have been acknowledged as strategic objectives of EU energy policy, together with energy security and economic competitiveness. With this threefold objective, the EU has recognized the multisectorial origin of its energy policy, which is related to the creation of the internal energy market, external relations and environmental protection. In this context, climate change has gradually come to be considered as the main environmental concern faced by EU energy policy, triggering a collateral effect, sustainable development has been sidelined as a political priority. Yet very few studies have been devoted to the inner process that structures the environmental dimension of the EU energy policy (i.e., the axis related to the environmental policy and concerns such as the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency and savings, or reduction of GHG emissions). This oversight becomes even more surprising when we take into consideration the broad consensus around the idea that environmental concerns regarding energy consumption have been among the most significant drivers of the EU energy policy under construction. To bridge this gap, this article seeks to provide a closer look at the 'green' dimension of the EU energy policy. By analyzing the discourse of the main EU institutions involved in the shaping of the energy policy, we intend to provide: an explanation on how it has evolved in time, giving way to an overwhelming relevance to climate change; a picture of what the effects of this drive have been in terms of policy options for the EU energy policy; and finally, a perspective on the future of the EU energy policy under the current circumstances. © 2013 Future Science Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-563
JournalCarbon Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013

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