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European Climate Leadership in QuestionPolicies toward China and India$
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Diarmuid Torney

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029360

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029360.001.0001

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Drivers of EU External Climate Relations

Drivers of EU External Climate Relations

(p.35) 3 Drivers of EU External Climate Relations
European Climate Leadership in Question

Diarmuid Torney

The MIT Press

This chapter traces the development of EU climate change policy and, using the first part of the analytical framework developed in Chapter 2, identifies the factors that have driven these developments. It assesses the extent to which normative, interest-based, and polity-building factors drove the development of EU climate policy over time. The EU’s engagement with China and India on climate change has been a function of the broader development of EU climate change policy. However, this has been a story of slow and uneven development. Initially, the EU approach to climate change was characterized by rhetorical claims to “climate leadership“—strong on aspiration and future-oriented targets, but lacking concrete Community-level policies to tackle the issue. Over time, however, the EU has succeeded in developing progressively a suite of climate change policies to underpin its previously-rhetorical claim to climate leadership. At the beginning of the 2010s, however, the impact of the Eurozone crisis along with changing coalitions of interest among member states led to a dampening of the enthusiasm that characterized the development of EU climate policy during much of the 2000s. A second important part of the story is the way in which the broader EU-China and EU-India relationships have both facilitated and constrained the development of EU engagement with China and India on climate change. In particular, the deepening of EU-China and EU-India relations from the early 2000s onwards created an institutional framework within which the EU sought to develop engagement on climate change.

Keywords:   European Union, China, India, Strategic partnerships, Climate change, UNFCCC, Environment, Leadership, Followership

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