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CICEP-Strategic Challenges in International Climate and Energy Policy

Awarded: NOK 64.0 mill.

The main objectives of CICEP were to identify international policy options and strategies that can drive the transition towards low-carbon energy systems, and to determine consequences of plausible international policy options for major Norwegian industries, and for government strategies. Our work has been divided into four academic work packages (WPs). WP1 has analyzed the climate policy trajectories of key actors in international climate cooperation, with a particular focus on national climate policy development in the United States, India, Brazil, China, EU, Russia and Japan. Accepting that climate change mitigation requires policy change followed by policy durability, researchers have employed theoretical insights from comparative politics, political science and international relations with the aim to explore how and why combinations of interest-based, institutional, and cognitive factors strongly influence climate policy development in the countries we studied. After the adoption of the Paris Agreement, our research focused increasingly on emerging conflicts over fulfilling the Agreement's ambitions and actual climate policy developments at the domestic level. We have analyzed issues like U.S. decreasing climate policy ambitions in the Trump era, EU climate policies in the shadow of internal policy ambition divergence and events like Brexit, and China's potential for international climate leadership. WP2 analyzed which international climate agreements hold the most promise for mitigating climate change. We closely followed the climate negotiations under the UN. Research has focused particularly on equity, with a view to identifying politically feasible options for dealing with this contentious issue. We argued that searching for a single ?fairness-optimizing? formula is likely to fail and that a more promising approach would conceive of fairness as a multidimensional construct and foster accommodation through mutual recognition of a limited range of legitimate norm interpretations. This approach has been credited with influencing the Paris Agreement. After 2015, we have analyzed the prospects for increasing the ambition level under the Paris Agreement. We have also analyzed the prospects for cooperation processes that would be supplementary or alternative to the UN process, focusing in particular on cooperation starting with a small club of large countries, as well as carbon pricing. WP3 studied effects of climate and energy policies on international energy markets and emissions, mitigation costs and distributional impacts, accounting for indirect effects through markets. Based on a global, multi-region economic model we developed scenarios reflecting the pledges of international agreements, policy impacts on fossil and renewable energy, emissions, and the costs to major emitters. We also engaged in analyses on emissions embodied in trade, shifting territorial emissions from developed countries to China and other industrializing countries. We have been heavily involved in the annual releases of the Global Carbon Budget. WP4 has examined the making and consequences of EU climate, energy and technology policies from different angles. How has the EU managed to agree on ambitious and binding goals and policies? One key finding is that linking different policies and issues in packages has proved effective. First, issues valued differently by policymakers were combined. Second, distributional obstacles were overcome by sharing the burden through differentiated obligations and by adding issues as side-payments. Finally, package policies were framed in a synergistic way. The examination of consequences has focused on industry, EU member-states and Norway: To what extent and how have policy packages that promote EU-level agreement been implemented domestically and in different industry sectors? In-depth studies of Germany, the Netherland, Poland and Norway show that they have responded very differently to the EU policies. Poland has reluctantly implemented required policies and opposed more ambitions policies for the future. Germany has responded more offensively, particularly in the renewable energy policy, but it has also faced challenges. The Netherlands and Norway can be placed somewhere in between these extremes. A key finding concerning industries is that most sectors have stepped-up efforts, but electric power producers have been most ambitious in exploiting new opportunities for electrifying Europe. CICEP has placed great emphasis on training a new generation of researchers to study international climate and energy policy. With funding from the FME scheme, external projects and directly from the partner we have supported 10 PhD students, seven of whom enrolled in the PhD program at the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo.

CICEP played a crucial role in advancing knowledge on feasible and effective climate and energy policies. Our work with Nordic climate negotiators in the lead-up to COP15 in Paris was submitted to the evaluation of social sciences as an impact case. We confidently claim a direct impact on the agreement on the topic of differentiation. Our researchers have been used extensively by partners Equinor and DNV GL to inform and review work on scenarios and future projections, with a very likely influence on strategic decision making. Equinor used our research to inform their advocacy for a global price on carbon. CICEP strengthened partners' research groups, and played a key role in securing the rating "excellent" for the international climate policy group at CICERO and UiO. An important part of this strengthening has been the training of a new generation of scholars. CICEP played a very active role in climate and energy policy debates, both nationally and internationally.

This proposal responds to theme five in the call - international climate and energy policy - but will address questions under theme six as well. We have two primary objectives for CICEP. First, to help identify and design international policy options and strategies that can drive the transition to low-carbon energy systems. In particular, CICEP will help determine which of the policy options that meet basic requirements of effectiveness can be adopted and successfully implemented. Second, to better unders tand the consequences of plausible policy options and trajectories for international and European energy and energy technology markets, for major Norwegian industries, and for government strategies. Our research shall meet high scientific standards, be pr oblem-driven and solution-oriented, and yield new and important knowledge. To achieve these goals, CICERO, FNI, and the UiO Department of Political Science will build a strong interdisciplinary team with political science and economics at the core, and wi th links to natural science, technology and law. CICEP will collaborate with leading international research partners at University of California San Diego, Fudan University, Lund University, and Basque Centre for Climate Change, and make good use of estab lished research networks. CICEP will work in close contact with a select group of user partners from government (the Climate and Pollution Agency, Klif; the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, NVE), major companies (Hydro, Statoil, Statnett, and Veritas), and organisations (the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, NHO, with three of its branch organisations; and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, LO). The work will be organised in five work packages - two focusing on policy devel opment (objective one), two on policy effects (objective two), while the third highlights the priority given to synthesis and outreach.

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Thematic Areas and Topics

GrunnforskningMaritimSosioøkonomisk forskningPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderMiljø, klima og naturforvaltningBransjer og næringerEnergi - NæringsområdeBransjer og næringerProsess- og foredlingsindustriGlobale utfordringerGlobale klimautfordringerAnvendt forskningKlimaGlobale klimautfordringerKlimarelevant forskningGlobale utfordringerInternasjonaliseringInternasjonalt prosjektsamarbeidMiljøvennlig energiEnergibruk i industriLTP3 Klima, miljø og energiEnergiEnergibruk i industriPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderUtenrikspolitikkInternasjonaliseringLTP3 Samfunnssikkerhet og beredskapPortefølje Energi og transportEnergiMaritimLTP3 Fagmiljøer og talenterPortefølje ForskningssystemetPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderFinansmarkedene og økonomisk styringLTP3 Havteknologi og maritim innovasjonInnovasjon i offentlig sektor (utgår 2014)Innovasjoner i virksomheter innenfor offentlig forvaltning og tjenesteytingBransjer og næringerLandbrukBransjer og næringerOlje, gassKutt i utslipp av klimagasserKlimaLTP3 Miljøvennlig energi og lavutslippsløsningerPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderNaturmangfold og miljøBærekraftig energiPortefølje InnovasjonLTP3 Klima, polar og miljøPortefølje Banebrytende forskningPortefølje Klima og miljøLTP3 Hav og kystLTP3 Styrket konkurransekraft og innovasjonsevneInnovasjon i offentlig sektor (utgår 2014)LTP3 Global utvikling, ulikhet, og demokratibyggingPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderNæring og handelBransjer og næringerEnergiEnergipolitikk, økonomi og samfunnsspørsmålNaturmangfold og miljøKlimaPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderSkog, landbruk og matLTP3 Et kunnskapsintensivt næringsliv i hele landetPortefølje Demokrati og global utviklingTjenesterettet FoULTP3 Høy kvalitet og tilgjengelighetPortefølje Mat og bioressurserKlimaRammebetingelser og virkemidler for utslippsreduksjon og karbonopptakNaturmangfold og miljøMiljøvennlig energiEnergipolitikk, økonomi og samfunnsspørsmål