The practice of climate change policy evaluations in the European Union and its member states: results from a meta-analysis
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CitationFujiwara, Noriko. van Asselt, Harro. Bößner, Stefan. Voigt, Sebastian. Spyridaki, Niki-Artemis. Flamos, Alexandros. Alberola, Emilie. Williges, Keith. Türk, Andreas. ten Donkelaar, Michael. (2019). The practice of climate change policy evaluations in the European Union and its member states: results from a meta-analysis. Sustainable Earth, 2, 9. 10.1186/s42055-019-0015-8.
This article presents the main findings from a meta-analysis of how climate change mitigation policy evaluations have been undertaken in the European Union (EU) and six of its Member States: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece and the United Kingdom. It aims to provide insights into how policy evaluations are carried out and how those practices might be improved. As a first step, this article reviews the literature on the theory and practice of policy evaluations to guide our methodology and further analysis.
Our sample of 236 policy evaluations in the EU and six Member States covers the period 2010–2016. Compared with the results of a similar meta-analysis carried out covering the period 1998–2007, formal evaluations commissioned by government bodies have been on the rise in 2010–2016. Most evaluations focus on effectiveness and goal achievement and usually forgo a deeper level of reflexivity and/or public participation in the evaluation process. The analysis also reveals the dominance of the energy sector in the sampled evaluations. The article finds that the low number of any policy evaluations in the agriculture, waste or land-use sectors is an area for further investigation.
The exercise of identifying, coding and categorising these evaluations for 7 years helps to provide insights into the potential use of ex-post evaluations in support of future EU legislative proposals and accompanying impact assessments. Having a good understanding on how a certain policy performed particularly according to evaluation criteria might form the basis for more ambitious climate change mitigation policies in the future. Our analysis further shows that it is crucial and urgent to allocate sufficient resources to the coverage of relatively under-represented sectors, such as land use, land-use change and forestry, and waste.