Globalization pp 397-430 | Cite as

The European Union’s Role in the Development of Global Environmental Law

Chapter

Abstract

This article is focusing on the role that the European Union (EU) is playing as a global actor when it is using its ‘internal’ regulatory power as well as its parallel market power ‘externally’ to strengthen and to fill out gaps in the global environmental law. The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission as one of the most important global challenges, and the mentioned regulatory role of the EU is illustrated in this article by three examples related to GHG emissions from transport: The EU’s use of the ‘cap and trade’ principle on all aircrafts that arrive or depart from its territory; the EU’s proposal on the use of monitoring, reporting and verifications (MRV) obligations on all ships that arrive or depart from its territory; and the EU’s use of mandatory sustainability criteria on all biofuels used by road traffic. These examples involve transnational regulation of private sector actors. The EU ambitions are to ensure a model for global norms in situations, where the international regimes are ineffective. The EU legislator has the European Court of Justice’s word for its right to permit a commercial activity to be carried out by foreign enterprises only on its territory provided that the operators comply with the EU norms; and it has the Court’s word for its right to act with exclusive external competences to ensure an export of the norms also in situations where it is the Member States of the EU—and not the EU—that are the accepted parties of the international organisation that the EU wants to push.

Abbreviations

AGP

The Agreement on Government Procurement

Annex I parties

Developed countries

Annex II parties

Developed countries in transition from a plan economy to a market economy

BAP

The Bali Action Plan

CAP

Common Agricultural Policy

CBDR/RC

Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities

CDM

Clean development mechanism

Commission

The European Commission

COP

Conference of the Parties

Council

The European Council

Court

The European Court of Justice

EEDI

Energy Efficiency Design Index

ETS

Emission trading scheme

ETS Directive

The EU’s Directive on Emission Trading (2003/87/EC as amended)

EU

The European Union

EU ETS

The EU’s Emission Trading Scheme

GATT

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

GHG

Greenhouse gas

ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organisation

ILUC

Direct and indirect land-use changes

IMO

The International Maritime Organization

IPCC

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change

ISPS Code

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code

IUCN

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature

JI

Joint implementation

LDC

Least developed countries

MARPOL 73/78

The Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships

MBM

Market-based measures

MEPC

The Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the IMO

MFN

Most favoured nations

MRV

Monitoring reporting and verifications

NAMAs

Nationally appropriate mitigation actions

NMFT

No more favourable treatment

Non-Annex I parties

Developing countries

RED

The Directive on Promoting Renewable Energy (Directive 2009/28/EC)

SEEMP

The Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan

SIDC

Small islands developing countries

SOLAS Convention

The International Convention for the Safety of the Life at Sea

TBT Agreement

The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

TEU

The Treaty on the European Union

TFEU

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Treaty

The Treaty of Lisbon

UN

The United Nations

UNEP

The United Nations’ Environmental Programme

UNFCCC

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

US

The United States of America

WCED

The World Commission on Environment and Development

WTO

The World Trade Organization

Aarhus Convention

The UNECE Convention on Access to Information Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LawAarhus University, Aarhus BSSAarhus CDenmark

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