Historic Context of European Union Leadership in Climate Change Mitigation

Volodymyr Shatokha

Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine

UDС 94(4)

DOI http://doi.org/10.17721/2524-048X.2017.08.74-96


The role of European Union in defining of the international climate change mitigation policy was studied in the historic context of overcoming the differences in the approaches to reaching the sustainable development targets among the EU, the USA, China and some other influential countries. It has been shown that currently the processes of climate policy definition became more polycentric than in 1992, when the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed. The ability to adjust to a new context, to build coalitions and to reach compromise with the wide range of international actors has been crucial for maintaining the EU’s influence on definition of the international climate change mitigation policy. Despite not always supportive internal and external factors, during a quarter of century the EU has managed to maintain its leadership and many times helped to enhance the ambition of global climatic targets by establishing the high level of own commitments and implementing relevant policy instruments. The EU and its members played a decisive role in ensuring of the non-interruptive international climate action during implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and in setting of the Paris Agreement which will define climate regime after 2020. Mitigation of climate change is a complicated task not only in terms of technology and socio-economic aspects but also with respect to policy implementation. Therefore the EU leadership in this sphere remains very important.


European Union, leadership, climate change mitigation, greenhouse gases, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement

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