EU Climate Policy in a Changing World Order
EU climate change policy is pursued in a new international context as EU Member States are about to implement the Paris Agreement. The authors of this chapter argue that the EU presented a strong, united front in the process leading up to the Paris Agreement, but there are clear differences in terms of both ambition and approach in the actual climate change policies of EU member states, which are due to variation in political culture, values, and political institutions. With this in mind, the chapter considers the EU’s role as an actor in climate change policy with regard to its historical role, current position, and future status. The authors begin by examining Europe’s early industrialization, which led to an increase in both economic power and the level of emissions of greenhouse gases. Relying on a variety of statistics, the authors determine that Europe’s position looks very different today, and they emphasize that even though the EU maintains a united front in climate negotiations, climate policy differs widely among EU member states.
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