MSA, CCS, EU, NER300, OMFG. #LootingTheIvoryTower

I don’t do enough Looting of the Ivory Tower (though see here).

I really should be doing a minimum of one article looted per day. I’d be less likely to flunk Chomsky’s mirror test. Hey ho.

Really, enough about me. This article below is absolutely superb. If you’re looking for a history of European Union interest in Carbon Capture and Storage from, oh, 2000 to 2010, with a side order of useful modifications to the Multiple Streams Approach of John Kingdon, then look no further than

“Policy invention and entrepreneurship: Bankrolling the burying of carbon in the EU”

I could quote for hours but

a) your attention

b) copyright

so these will have to do.

Bargaining scholars as well as students of EU policy show that strategic issue-couplings or other creative ways of changing decision making procedures can be effective (see Moravcsik, 1993, 1998; Sebenius, 1984, 2009; Niemann, 2006). We will refer to these kinds of acts as ‘procedural engineering’. This is entrepreneurship directed at altering the distribution of authority and information concerning the political issue in question, for instance through networking, bargaining techniques, issue-couplings and initiation of new decision making procedures (see Boasson, 2014). In short, procedural engineering entrepreneurship is directed at changing ‘the rules of the game’. Procedural engineering covers many entrepreneurial techniques discussed in the literature on policy entrepreneurs, such as lobbying, coalition building, orchestrating networks, venue shopping and collaborative activities with elite groups (e.g. Roberts and King, 1991; Mintrom, 1997; Mintrom and Norman, 2009; Huitema and Meijerink, 2010). In addition, this dimension also captures activities not much discussed in this literature, namely acts directed at creating decision opportunities. In other instances, actors may find that the policy in which they are interested is based on norms, values or world views that they find inappropriate or malfunctioning. The problem will not so much be that the decisionmakers do not have good information, but that they systematically interpret this information in the ‘wrong way’. In such instances, actors may try to persuade others to change preferences. Indeed, Goodin and colleagues argue that ‘policy making is mostly a matter of persuasion’ (see Goodin et al., 2006, p. 5). We will call such persuasion efforts ‘framing’.

(Boasson and Wettestad, 2014: 405)


Rapporteur Chris Davies toured the capitals of the EU member states promoting the Parliament’s amendments. His efforts were coordinated with those of other CCS promoters who also visited the national governments of major EU member states. Moreover, our interviewees point out that the French electricity equipment producer Alstom lobbied the French Presidency in order to ensure that the Parliament’s proposals ‘remained on the table’ during the high-level negotiations on the climate package.

(Boasson and Wettestad, 2014: 409)

[Prevent the technology being kicked off the table]

and finally, it turns out HMG were AOK with CCS

Avril Doyle opened up for the possibility of accepting 350 million earmarked allowances, instead of the 500 million requested earlier (Point Carbon, 2008b). EU officials and civil society interviewees give lively descriptions of the dramatic last-minute negotiations. These individuals were not present in the room, but many had text message contact with the negotiating parties. Funding of CCS was one of the last unresolved issues. Discussions had begun with a proposal for 200 million allowances to CCS funding. No agreement seemed in sight, but the parties knew they would have to find a solution before the announced press conferences. At the very last minute, the British dug their heels in and obtained an increase in the number of allowances from 200 to 300 (Euractiv, 2008b). So the final figure ended up being 300 million allowances.

(Boasson and Wettestad, 2014: 409)

Of particular note in the reference list, these-

Center for Public Integrity, 2009. The EU’s Billion-Euro Bet: How Europe Ended Up Paying Industry for Carbon Capture and Storage, 8 December

Coninck, H., de Backstrand, K., 2011. An International Relations perspective on global politics of carbon dioxide capture and storage. Global Environ. Change 21, 368–378

Jordan, A., Rayner, T., 2010. The evolution of climate policy in the European Union: an historical overview. In: Jordan, A., Huitema, D., Asselt, H.V., Rayner, T., Berkhout, F. (Eds.), Climate Change Policy in the European Union. Confronting the Dilemmas of Mitigation and Adaptation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 52–81

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: