Climate Change and the European Union’s Leadership Moment: An Inconvenient Truth?

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Series Details Volume 48, Number 4, Pages 923-945
Publication Date September 2010
ISSN 0021-9886
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This article examines the nexus between the EU's goal of being a leading actor on the world stage in devising a global solution to the threat of climate change and the performance of its Member States in meeting their climate change obligations. In doing so the article will discuss the concept of EU leadership, examine the modes of leadership the EU has employed in pursuing its climate protection objectives, scrutinize the extent to which EU Member States are actually living up to their Kyoto obligations and analyse how the EU's own performance, credibility and legitimacy in this area affects its aspirations to be a key norm‐entrepreneur in the establishment of a post‐2012 climate change agreement.

The article concludes with a balance sheet of some of the Union's key successes and failures and closes by highlighting some potentially inconvenient truths that might frustrate the EU's climate protection aspirations.

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