European Union Leadership in Global Environmental Politics

European Union Leadership in Global Environmental Politics

Essay from the year 2011 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: European Union, grade: 1.3, University of Bath, language: English, abstract: Since climate change and related facets of environmental protection became increasingly global(ised) issues in the early 1970s, the international community attempts to address these questions collectively as well as substantially. Observers and commentators of international environmental negotiations thereby repeatedly hinted at the necessity of a strong leader in global environmental governance as a precondition to urge agreements on common approaches to climate change. Otherwise, the successful and sustainable mitigation of global warming and ecocides on a large scale might fail. The question is still highly controversial, why of all actors on the global scale the European Union (EU), which accounts for approximately 24% of hazardous greenhouse gases, shall be a leader in environmental politics and climate protection? The main argument developed in this paper apprehends the European Union as a leader prima facie in international environmental politics. Whether the European Union fills a pivotal leading role according to, for instance, climate protection and sustainable development is a doubled feature. As will be argued below, the EU has undertaken massive efforts and strategic action to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and mobilised other members of the international climate regime to follow the European ‘leadership by example’ (Schunz 2011, pp.6-10). This dimension is clearly outward-looking and aims for behavioural change of other affected actors. Leading by example also calls for a certain degree of credibility to offer incentives to other players to pursue environmental goals. In respect of GHGE reduction, the European Union faces delays in implementing targets insistently and thus loses ground in international environmental governance to developing countries it is supposed to guide.

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Publisher GRIN Verlag
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ISBN 3668540330
Pages 22 pages
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