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Sustainable Welfare in the EU: Promoting Synergies between Climate and Social Policies

  • Max Koch
  • Anne Therese Gullberg
  • Mi Ah Schoyen
  • Bjørn Hvinden
Publishing year: 2016-09-13
Language: English
Pages: 704-715
Publication/Series: Critical Social Policy
Volume: 36
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

Abstract english

The commentary addresses the scope for synergy between climate change policy and social policy in the European Union (EU) from a ‘sustainable welfare’ perspective. The emerging sustainable welfare approach is oriented to 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


  • Social Work
  • Climate Change
  • social policy
  • sustainable welfare
  • EU
  • synergy


Max Koch
E-mail: max [dot] koch [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se


School of Social Work

+46 46 222 12 68


School of Social Work
Lund University
Visiting address: Allhelgona kyrkogata 8, Lund
Postal address: Box 23,  22100 Lund, Sweden
Telephone : 046-222 00 00 (switchboard) 
Telefax: 046-222 94 12

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