One of humanity’s gravest problems in the 21st century is climate change and the threat it poses to the state of our planet and humankind. Governments, businesses, NGOs and experts across the globe are considering the problem and trying to find solutions to limit the earth’s temperature rise by finding and implementing ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (most notably CO2). In practice it appears not to be so easy to coordinate climate and energy policies. This dissertation applies multi-level governance (MLG) theory to gain insight in how the EU’s efforts to address climate and energy policies affect all layers of governance, including societal and private sector actors, in the Port of Rotterdam. It concludes that the multi-level governance of the EU’s efforts to address climate change is supranational, polycentric, bounded and characterised by interdependencies across all levels of governance. It is of necessity a public - private affair and impacted by global economic, (geo)political and technological developments which further complicate decision making processes by virtue of adding more uncertainty to already highly uncertain visions of the future. Governance is also limited by short term considerations of those in power, often favouring economic benefit over the more long term benefits of sustainability. The conclusions stresses the importance of a clear framework of policies and goals with clear pathways to reach them. The Rotterdam port community needs to be included in climate and energy governance by virtue of having the expertise policy-makers need, but is also dependent on governmental authorities for the provision of enabling policies.

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W.A. Hafkamp (Wim) , A. Timmermans (Anne) , H. Geerlings (Harry) , F.K.M. van Nispen tot Pannerden (Frans)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Rijk, N. (2019, January 25). Vying for Vision : Climate and energy policies between local ambitions, national interests and international realities. Retrieved from