Migration, political and financial crises threaten the European Union’s very existence. But the destabilized political landscape after the US elections is an opportunity for the EU to lead by example and show leadership. Pushing forwards on pan-European energy transition and trade partnerships with China will be key to ensuring implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The European Union has long played a leadership role in climate diplomacy. One challenging development for future EU climate diplomacy is the centrality of technology in contemporary global interventions to deal with climate change and promote sustainable energy. Challenges and opportunities in this field of action were central to a workshop hosted by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in partnership with the Transnational Law Institute (TLI) of the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, and Fondation Jean-Jaurès.
To date, 17 countries of the G-20—which account for 67 percent of global greenhouse gas pollution—have officially joined the Paris Agreement, bringing it into effect far sooner than anyone expected. If these countries follow through with their commitments to reduce emissions, it will represent unprecedented progress in the global effort to curb climate change. Unfortunately, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has proposed a number of policies that would have negative climate implications. In light of this, the G-20 summit in July 2017 provides an important opportunity for other major powers to resist backsliding and even to make some progress in meeting the global climate challenge.
After a change at the top, the U.S. stance on the environment is poised to take a drastic step back. In Europe, less liberal leaders are gaining momentum. Populist movements mushrooming all over the continent preach isolationism and reject hard facts as a pivot of the political agenda. Author Lou Del Bello argues that under this new, shifting political landscape, the climate movement needs to reconnect with the grassroots.
In this four-page comment, Susanne Dröge from SWP discusses what the election of Donald Trump as the new US president will mean for future international climate policy cooperation. She argues that Germany and the EU need a comprehensive new climate diplomacy strategy to deal with the fallout of the US turnaround. Read the full comment here.
How to deal with the impact of climate change on peace and stability? What are the key climate-fragility risks to development in Africa and how can integrated policy responses be designed and implemented? Two side events at COP22 discussed entry points for addressing climate-security risks on the ground.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency are organizing this seminar on Human Rights and the Environment, following the Advisory Board Meeting of the Environmental Governance Project (EGP). The four-year EGP is funded by SIDA and addresses challenges for developing countries in implementing environmental policies and integrating environmental and social concerns into broader sustainable development policy making.
Assessing the positive impacts of climate action, an approach which considers the broad spectrum of social, economic and health benefits, has increasingly gained global recognition. This is due, in part, to the insightful work done by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. On this platform, Christian Friis Bach from UNECE noted on February 2016: “Taking into account such co-benefits can radically change the picture and demonstrate that action can pay off, not only in the long term, but also in the short to medium term.” With the Paris Agreement recently ratified by the European Union (EU), what is the potential of the benefits approach for achieving these new commitments in Europe?
"Our collective task is to turn our commitments into action on the ground. We have the policies and tools to meet our targets, steer the global clean energy transition and modernise our economy."
This summer, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini revealed the long-awaited Global Strategy “Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe”. As part of the Strategy, the EU broadens its climate diplomacy approach and integrates it into its overall foreign and security policy thinking. Its predecessor, the European Security Strategy, released in 2003, contained no mention of the climate, whereas now it is cited 26 times. Indeed, this is an important step to help ensure that external climate action is more effective and coherent. Policymakers and diplomats of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and foreign services of the Member States are now tasked with putting this shared vision into practice.
The event “Reduce your carbon footprint 2016” took place on 17 September 2016 in the Romanian Capital as part of the activities organised to celebrate the EU Climate Diplomacy Week (9-18 September 2016).
After EU Climate Diplomacy Days in 2014 and 2015, this year the EU is dedicating a whole week to this issue. Missions from the EU and its Member States around the world will participate in reaching out to communities and organisations, highlighting positive global action on climate change.
The Climateurope Festival 2017 offers a varied 2½ day programme of lectures, discussions, networking and performances to explore the state-of-the-art of climate information, and its uses and value in decision-making at both the European and national levels.
A key Festival objective this year is to discuss the advantages and challenges that climate services face with the water sector, natural reserve, and agriculture and food security. Transforming climate information through services for societal and commercial success is of top importance.