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Can Green Sustain Growth?From the Religion to the Reality of Sustainable Prosperity$
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John Zysman and Mark Huberty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785259

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785259.001.0001

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The European Union

The European Union

Green Growth without Borders: Transnational Energy Systems and the Politics of Transformation

(p.107) 7 The European Union
Can Green Sustain Growth?

Mark Huberty

Stanford University Press

The European Union’s success in emissions trading is held up as a template for climate policymaking elsewhere. This chapter argues that this view is incorrect. The EU’s climate change policies originate not out of some altruistic willingness to accept higher taxes to save the planet; but rather out of a carefully crafted deal that seeks economic gains from investment in low-emissions infrastructure. Those gains fulfill two important functions: offsetting the costs of climate change mitigation; and building the political coalitions necessary to counter opposition from economic sectors rooted in high emissions. Moreover, the particular dimensions of the EU bargain are deeply rooted in the specific characteristics of Europe’s legacy energy systems. Hence Europe’s success with climate change mitigation suggests the need for economic gains to underpin a climate policy consensus. But EU policy is unlikely to be replicated verbatim in other national contexts with different economic and political configurations.

Keywords:   Europe, European Union, climate change, green growth, carbon trading, energy system

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