Energy and Climate change


The COP21 climate summit in December 2016 finally brought the legal and political direction long-awaited which will determine worldwide efforts to ensure that global temperatures stay below 1,5°C. Lower carbon emissions and ultimately attaining a transition to decarbonisation is what we should be witnessing by 2050 already, this is in little more than thirty years time. The whole way think about our consumption needs, behavioural patterns as well as our production will no doubt change. There are some people that may fear of losing out from this transition and others who may seek to grow from it.

Those affected by it at least often come from the most vulnerable groups of society despite having least provoked it. One of the main challenges in the past has been getting an international agreement in place. Now this significant step has been taken, the business case for transitioning to sustainability is unquestionable.

Now, more than ever, the positive benefits, economic and otherwise, for becoming more sustainable are intensifying. The technology exists to help this change. A good example and a complementary sign that a transition is underway is in the renewable energy sector, where prices are falling steadily. Yet securing investment for such projects and ensuring a level-playing field is key, this is where the role of the EU and its relations with the regions, cities and national levels of government will come into play. FEPS will analyse the challenges in how to implement such a transition and ensure it is carried out in a ‘Just’ way with concrete social dialogue.

Current FEPS projects ongoing on this topic:

Progressives for Climate 

Building on the Progressives for Climate initiative launched with the Fondation Jean-Jaurès for the two years ahead of the COP21 climate summit in Paris, the activities are continuing and workshops will be held in Marrakech at the COP22 in November 2016. The platform can be seen in more detail on the dedicated website

Transition to decarbonisation: A New Social Contract 

With a transition beginning to get underway, this project aims to look at best practices from previous transitions in cities and regions and to offer guidelines for others to interpret, notably on how we make it a ‘Just Transition’. Focusing on the coal and steel sectors in particular, it looks at how to engage with citizens, different political levels whilst ensuring business support, jobs and prosperity in an area.

Carried out together with A debate and report launch will be held on September 28th 2016. See FEPS events section on the website for more details.

Strengthening Europe’s sustainable energy and climate technology diplomacy – harnessing networks for norm leadership |

The European Union has long played a leadership role in the global response to climate change and the related challenge of increasing access to sustainable energy for development. To maintain and extend this diplomatic asset, the EU faces challenges including the proliferation of multiple negotiating tracks and processes, the growing importance of non-EU sources of finance and technology, and the centrality of technology in global climate and sustainable energy governance. If the EU can respond to these developments with innovative diplomacy, it has an opportunity to augment its contribution to global progress on climate change and sustainable energy. To discuss and evaluate this changing diplomatic landscape, this project has an upcoming written study and series of workshops, the next one planned for London on 19th October. It is carried out together with Transnational Law Institute from King’s College London.

Energy Union 

The Energy Union research project was launched in February 2015. The study encompasses desk research and dialogue with stakeholders over a two-year period leading up to the launch of the European Commission’s Energy Union Plan.


Background material


Organisations who we have work with on this topic



PES Group in the Committee of the Regions

Fondation Jean Jaurès

Fabian Society


Kalevi Sorsa Foundation

Freedom and Solidarity Foundation (FSF)

Change Partnership