Dr. Claire Dupont (née Roche Kelly)
Claire Dupont is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for European Studies and the Political Science department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is one of two leading postdoctoral researchers of the EDGE programme on Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe.
Claire's main research focus is on climate and energy policy, and on how the democratic decision-making procedures can tackle the complex, global problem of climate change. Her research has focused mainly on the level of the EU, but with insights from multi-level and international governance also. She examines EU internal and external energy policy and diplomacy from the perspective of achieving long-term climate policy objectives and ensuring the EU decarbonises its economy by 2050. Beyond the specific empirical analyses, she assesses the potential for concepts like 'policy integration' to improve the quality of policymaking.
Since 2015, Claire has developing a new research agenda on political representation as a potential route to ensuring climate change policy is sufficiently robust to preserve the planet for 'voiceless' but 'affected' populations and future generations. She is, thus, engaging in research on the links between justice and mechanisms of political representation.
In 2013, Claire successfully defended her PhD thesis, entitled Climate Policy Integration into EU energy policy. In her PhD, Claire examined the extent to which climate policy integration is evident across three EU energy policies (namely, renewable energy policy, energy performance of buildings policy and policies in support of external gas infrastructure) between 2000 and 2010. Using a 2050 benchmark, she found that even the best cases of climate policy integration showed insufficient ambition to achieve long-term and scientifically grounded climate objectives. Claire set about trying to explain these insufficiencies with reference to a number of explanatory variables derived from and inspired by literature on environmental policy integration and European integration theories. One general finding of her PhD research is that the nature of the functional interrelations between the energy policy being negotiated and the long-term climate policy objectives may not always be recognised by policymakers in the policy process, rendering the inclusion of climate policy objectives challenging. In addition, Claire found that even as EU climate and energy policy measures become more stringent, the final level of ambition falls short of requirements to combat climate change. As the time frame to 2050 closes, the EU engages in constant "catch-up governance", with new policies trying to improve on the failings of previous policies without breaking the mould or advancing sufficiently.
Some of Claire's previous research work includes examining the leadership role of the EU in international climate policy, assessing the role of the European Council and the Council of Ministers in promoting this leadership role for the EU, and analysing the interaction between the international climate and international ozone regimes in the area of fluorinated gases.
Claire also regularly attends international conferences and seminars, has been an invited keynote speaker in Brussels and in Tallinn, teaches for IES Master courses (using multiple and innovative teaching methods), provides guest lectures at many partner universities in Belgium and (co-)supervises Masters and PhD students working on topics linked to her research interests.
Claire has been a member of the IES team since 2008, when she moved to Brussels to join the environmental and sustainable development research cluster.
Profile and Publications
- Study at IES
- European Projects