Independent National Advisory Bodies Can Reinforce the Role of Science in Climate Policy



The EEA briefing ‘The contribution of national advisory bodies to climate policy in Europe’ takes a comparative look at the national advisory bodies created to support national climate law-making across Europe. The briefing notes that while almost every European country has established an advisory body on climate change, they may differ greatly by their mandate, composition, resources, etc.


Dedicated climate change advisory bodies can play several functions, such as ‘watchdog’ (adding weight and accountability to climate policy processes), ‘advisors’ (providing scientific guidance and recommendations) or ‘convenors’ (engaging stakeholders or citizens into debates on climate policy). With the introduction of national climate laws, advisory bodies inject evidence-based input into policy formulation, especially in the case of independent scientific councils.


While the Paris Agreement (re)emphasised the importance of a mid-century time horizon and established recurring global stocktaking, EU climate legislation distributes the emission reduction goal between sectors and among Member States. Nevertheless, European countries are largely left to make their own decisions on how best to organise and structure national institutions to meet their targets. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) underlines that dialogue and cooperation among advisory bodies could allow for the exchange of best practices and may help national governments coordinate on cross-boundary solutions for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe.


The briefing notes that the impact of these bodies is directly related to their resources. Further dialogue and cooperation among advisory bodies could also enhance their action and may help national governments coordinate on cross-boundary solutions for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe.


Findings in the briefing are based on a report, commissioned by the EEA, that provides a comprehensive mapping of national climate change advisory bodies in the 32 member countries of the EEA, plus the United Kingdom.




Source: European Environment Agency News