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European Union Foreign Policy and the Global Climate Regime


Simon Schunz

Ever since the first international negotiations on climate change in the early 1990s, the European Union has aspired to play a leading role in global climate politics.
This book engages in a longitudinal analysis of the EU’s participation in and impact on the United Nations climate regime.
It provides not only comprehensive insights into the evolution of EU foreign climate policy, but also a thought-provoking audit of the potential and limits of the EU’s influence in a major domain of global affairs.
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Chapter 4. From the Buenos Aires Action Plan to the Year 2007 (1998–2007): EU Influence on the Consolidation of the Global Climate Regime


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EU influence on the Consolidation of the Global Climate Regime

Chapter 4 analyses the EU’s activities and impact in the context of the global climate negotiations during a time period that marked the transition between two phases of active regime reform attempts (1995–1997 and 2007–2009). Although talks during this period were not primarily concerned with the major topics studied in this work, i.e. a new interpretation of the core norm and principle of the regime, the ten-year span needs to be given consideration for two main reasons. first, the debates on the concrete modalities of the operationalization (1998–2001) and ratification (2002–2004) of the Kyoto Protocol were quite essential for the overall development of the climate regime. Their purpose lay in the transformation of the – only politically adopted – provisions of the Protocol, including its central norm (i.e. the legally binding target of 5.2% for Annex I parties), into international law. Second, in parallel to these ratification discussions and especially from 2005 until late 2007, debates on the future of the regime in the large sense of the term were gradually started (see also Annex II).

In the final hours of COP 3, the negotiation skills of Chair Estrada had proven crucial for ensuring a deal all parties could undersign (see Chapter 3). Essential for his success in ensuring the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol had been the artful postponement of crucial decisions to a post-Kyoto follow-up process....

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