To achieve its ambitious emissions targets, Germany not only must adopt effective climate policy measures, but also foster strong ‘climate institutions’. These institutions – including the Bundes-Klimaschutzgesetz, the Expertenrat für Klimafragen, and potentially a reinstated Klimakabinett – have the potential to support the German Government’s climate policy agenda. In a new Ariadne report, researchers from the Hertie School analyse and compare climate institutions in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia. They draw on this analysis to offer reform options for German climate institutions in the context of the Klimaschutznovelle.
The report offers an encompassing definition of ‘climate institutions’ and an analytical framework to estimate the effects of climate institutions on climate policymaking. The framework shows how climate institutions address various ‘strategic challenges’ present in climate policymaking – for instance, keeping climate policy issues on the political agenda, facilitating policy coordination, or delivering compensation. Using this framework and drawing on a literature review and 22 interviews, the researchers compare the effects of existing climate institutions across the four countries.
Building on this comparative analysis, the report also identifies shortcomings of German climate institutions and outlines reform proposals to address them. Key reform proposals include the establishment of inter- and intra-ministerial working groups and the reintroduction of the Klimakabinett to strengthen coordination and integration of climate policy across government, as well as improving the transparency of modelling commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). In addition, the authors suggest granting the ERK more analytical resources for ex ante analyses and, in the context of expanded powers under the Klimaschutznovelle, for the body to act as a ‘policy entrepreneur’.
Claudia Zwar, Jacob Edenhofer, Viktorija Ruzelyte, Duncan Edmondson, Christian Flachsland (2023): Mapping variation in institutions for climate policymaking. Climate institutions in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia. Executive summary. Kopernikus project Ariadne, Potsdam.
Claudia Zwar, Jacob Edenhofer, Viktorija Ruzelyte, Duncan Edmondson, Christian Flachsland (2023): Mapping variation in institutions for climate policymaking. Climate institutions in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia. Executive summary for policymakers. Kopernikus project Ariadne, Potsdam.