One year after the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, the next conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in December 2010 adopted the so-called Cancun Agreements. Thereby, the Cancun conference succeeded in keeping the UN climate process alive and averting serious damage to multilateralism more broadly. However, the Cancun Agreements fall seriously short of providing for effective action on climate change. The current weakness of the international framework reinforces the rationale for strengthening domestic EU climate policies. It also requires a further rethinking of the EU’s international leadership strategy.