Independent national advisory bodies can reinforce the role of science in climate policy

News Published 11 May 2021 Last modified 11 May 2021
1 min read
Photo: © Roberto Bueno, REDISCOVER Nature/EEA
Efforts in tackling climate change at national level across Europe can be made more effective by robust governance frameworks as well as well-functioning, well-resourced advisory bodies. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today analyses the institutional settings for climate policy making at the national level in Europe, the role played by advisory bodies in these settings and their influence on policy decisions.

The EEA briefing ‘The contribution of national advisory bodies to climate policy in Europe’ takes a comparative look at the national advisory bodies created to support national climate law-making across Europe. The briefing notes that while almost every European country has established an advisory body on climate change, they may differ greatly by their mandate, composition, resources, etc.

Dedicated climate change advisory bodies can play several functions, such as ‘watchdog’ (adding weight and accountability to climate policy processes), ‘advisors’ (providing scientific guidance and recommendations) or ‘convenors’ (engaging stakeholders or citizens into debates on climate policy). With the introduction of national climate laws, advisory bodies inject evidence-based input into policy formulation, especially in the case of independent scientific councils.

The briefing notes that the impact of these bodies is directly related to their resources. Further dialogue and cooperation among advisory bodies could also enhance their action and may help national governments coordinate on cross-boundary solutions for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe.

Findings in the briefing are based on a report, commissioned by the EEA, that provides a comprehensive mapping of national climate change advisory bodies in the 32 member countries of the EEA, plus the United Kingdom. 


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