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European Union Foreign Policy and the Global Climate Regime

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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 6. Gradually “Back on Track” (2010–2012): EU Influence on the Resumed Post-2012 Global Climate Negotiations

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EU Influence on the Resumed Post-2012 Global Climate Negotiations

The aftermath of one of the most high-level and media-covered global summits in history resembled a hangover of sorts for many: not only had “Hopenhagen” not delivered on what it had been mandated to bring about, it had also led to a great deal of distrust among major parties – both between industrialized players themselves and between actors from the developed and the developing world – undermining parties’ and peoples’ confidence in the multilateral process. It would take some time to adjust to this new situation, re-build trust and re-ignite the far from finished global negotiations. Also within the EU, the “Copenhagen disaster”, as the Swedish Environment Minister had called it, sparked debates about changes to its foreign climate policy. In both cases, however, the controversies had limited effects on actual positions, actors’ behaviour and final outcomes. For that reason, and since the period 2010 to 2012 was more about “saving” the multilateral negotiation process by transitioning toward a novel negotiation phase than about any substantial developments of the climate regime regarding the two issues of targets and inclusiveness, this chapter highlights the major developments in the EU and in the global climate negotiations after the Copenhagen Accord. They resulted in the incorporation of that Accord into the UN process via the “Cancun Agreements” at COP 16/MOP 6, the adoption of the “Durban Package” on a new negotiation process at COP 17/MOP 7 and the...

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