Sustainable welfare in the EU: Promoting synergies between climate and social policies
Journal article, Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCritical Social Policy 2016, 36(4):704-715 http://doi.org/10.1177/0261018316654614
The commentary addresses the scope for synergy between climate change policy and social policy in the European Union from a ‘sustainable welfare’ perspective. The emerging sustainable welfare approach is oriented at the satisfaction of human needs within ecological limits, in an intergenerational and global perspective. While the overall goals of EU climate policy and EU welfare policies largely reflect this orientation, there are significant differences in policy priorities. A ‘policy auditing’ approach towards sustainable welfare defines critical thresholds for matter and energy throughput to identify how much room there is for economic and societal development. However, the EU refrains from prioritizing environmental over other, especially economic, goals and displays a remarkable degree of optimism in relation to the extent to which one can make these different policy goals compatible.