The EU and the US in the Politics of Global Climate Change Governance: Avoiding the Crucial Questions

In this paper I explore the place of the European Union and the United States in the politics of global climate change governance. Climate change is arguably the key challenge in 21st century politics - it poses a threat to the world as a whole, but has not yet been met with appropriate action. Although both the EU and the US have adopted numerous measures to thwart the effects of global warming, they have been reluctant to engage more seriously with addressing its underlying causes. While the economic growth is the driver of climate change, the modes of production and consumption in the West continue to facilitate it, and still the EU and the US hesitate to pursue action that would reframe the foundations of their economies. With economic globalization and the efforts of countries in the Global South and East to catch up with the living standards and life-styles in Europe and America, serious US and EU climate action has to involve deeper engagement with ideologies underpinning their economic models. Effort to pursue accountable global climate governance has to involve more investment into leading by example rather than speculating over the best coercive strategies.
Paper produced within the framework of the IAI project Transworld.

Roma, Istituto affari internazionali, October 2014, 23 p.
Publication date: 

1. Climate Change: Why It Matters and How We Got Here
2. Who Draws the World Climate Map?
3. The US and the EU: Leadership or a Scramble for Resources and Influence?
3.1 Climate Action in the EU, the US and Limits to Cooperation
3.2 EU and US Non-state Actors: Constraints and Impulses
3.3 Climate Action in the Shadow of Energy Security
3.4 The TTIP: Limiting or Strengthening the US and EU Leverage in Climate Change Politics?
3.5 The US and the EU at UN-level Talks and Pre-Paris Agenda
4. Sustainability of Production and Consumption and the Growth Trap: A Dialogue Yet to Be Held
4.1 Challenges to the Growth Paradigm

Research area