The European Union says the role of science must be reinforced in climate change policy within the continent.
The European Environment Agency in a briefing said while almost every European country has established an advisory body on climate change, they may differ greatly by their mandate, composition, and resources.
Findings in the briefing are based on a report titled ‘Climate governance systems in Europe: the role of national advisory bodies.’
It was commissioned by the EEA to provide a comprehensive mapping of national climate change advisory bodies in the 32 member countries of the EEA, plus the United Kingdom.
“Effective action to curb climate change depends on well-defined and efficient governance systems. An increasing number of European countries have been adopting national frameworks to organise their climate actions, often in the form of climate laws. In some cases, these include dedicated advisory bodies to support policy-making. This briefing summarises key findings from research on the landscape of climate advisory bodies in European countries. It highlights the importance of ensuring the work of such bodies is effective by equipping them with a clear mandate, adequate resources and formally integrating them into regular cycles of climate policy-making, planning and progress monitoring.”EEA
Existing national governance systems in EEA member countries can be grouped into three tiers of specificity, with each tier expanding and further detailing and formalising the respective procedures and institutions and their responsibilities.
Many national systems could be strengthened, for example, through the adoption of framework climate laws.
This report shows that independent scientific climate councils are both a sign of and an important enabler for more robust governance.
They are currently most often found in highly formalised and specific governance systems, but also require regular and specific governance mechanisms to be able to function effectively.