I'm no expert on European macroeconomics, but my casual reading suggests that climate policy isn't necessarily the villain here:
For years, Europe has tried to set the global standard for climate-change regulation, creating tough rules on emissions, mandating more use of renewable energy sources and arguably sacrificing some economic growth in the name of saving the planet.
But now even Europe seems to be hitting its environmentalist limits.
High energy costs, declining industrial competitiveness and a recognition that the economy is unlikely to rebound strongly any time soon are leading policy makers to begin easing up in their drive for more aggressive climate regulation.
On Wednesday, the European Union proposed an end to binding national targets for renewable energy production after 2020. Instead, it substituted an overall European goal that is likely to be much harder to enforce. ...
Europe pressed ahead on other fronts, aiming for a cut of 40 percent in Europe’s carbon emissions by 2030, double the current target of 20 percent by 2020. Officials said the new proposals were not evidence of diminished commitment to environmental discipline but reflected the complicated reality of bringing the 28 countries of the European Union together behind a policy. ...
But the proposals were seen as a substantial backtrack by environmental groups, and evidence that economic factors were starting to influence the climate debate in ways they previously had not in Europe. ...
The British government, a frequent critic of what it sees as moves by the European Union that inhibit economic performance, welcomed the proposals. It singled out for praise the scrapping of national targets for renewable energy in favor of an overall goal of producing 27 percent of Europe’s energy from renewables by 2030, an approach that will leave countries battling among themselves over who should do more.
88% of AERE survey respondents disagree that “we should wait until the economy gets better before we make the environment a major policy priority” and 84% disagree that “we worry too much about the future of the environment and not enough about prices and jobs today.”
And actually, the policy change makes good sense. A well designed climate policy, either an efficient carbon tax or cap-and-trade cap would provide sufficient incentives to pursue the efficient amount of renewable energy (whatever that may be). No renewable energy standards would be necessary.
- If any of my co-authors, journal editors looking for referee reports, students or administrators expect any work out of me, please note that Watauga County schools have been closed all week. Today the culprit is "black ice on secondary roads."