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191 For the global response to climate change, 2007 was a landmark year. It began in January with President Bush’s State of the Union address, in which he for the first time acknowledged “the serious challenge of global climate change,” and concluded in December with the Bali Roadmap which global negotiators will use to seek to finalize an agenda for a framework by 2009 in Copenhagen to replace the Kyoto accord, due to expire in 2012. Although this was the ambitious officially declared agenda, Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), revealingly stated in an October 2007 interview, “I think the challenge in the next two years will be to design a climate policy that is good for the United Sates, good for China, and good for the EU.”1 These three global powerhouses alone are responsible for roughly half of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), according to the World Resource Institute’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT), emitting 20.4, 14.1, and 14.7 percent of global GHG emissions, respectively, in 2000, the most recent year for which all GHG emissions figures are available.2 No other country is responsible for more than 5.7 percent. If these three players can agree, the eight Setting the Negotiating Table: The Race to Replace Kyoto by 2012 JULIANNE SMITH AND ALEXANDER T. J. LENNON The authors both gratefully acknowledge Derek Mix, a fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies Europe program, for his substantial research and writing contributions to this chapter. 11100-08_CH08.qxd 5/8/08 12:45 PM Page 191 192 JULIANNE SMITH AND ALEXANDER T. J. LENNON core of a global framework exists. The question is: Can they? In this chapter we examine the ways in which Europe, the United States, and China see the challenge of global climate change. Europe’s Leadership Europe is rightly perceived as a global leader when it comes to climate change policy. The European Union was a central actor in the formulation and adoption of the UNFCCC, the first intergovernmental framework for addressing the issue, from 1992 to 1994. Over the next three years, the EU again played a crucial role in negotiating the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005. The Kyoto Protocol sets mandatory and legally binding targets for participating industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an overall total of 5 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. The protocol incorporates a number of flexible mechanisms to allow countries to meet their emissions reduction goals. These include national or regional emissions trading schemes and credits for sponsoring clean development projects or increasing carbon sinks, such as forests, either at home or in developing countries. By the time the Kyoto Protocol came into effect in early 2005, an internal EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the first international carbontrading system, had already been set up. The ETS was established in October 2003 and came into operation in January 2005.3 The new Energy Policy for Europe (EPE), presented by the European Commission in January 2007 and approved by the spring 2007 European Council, makes it clear that responding to climate change is a top EU priority . The EPE commits the EU to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (compared to 1990) independent of what other countries decide to do, and pledges a 30 percent reduction should other developed countries commit to this level.4 The EPE Action Plan calls for the EU, already the global pacesetter in renewable energy (with, for example, nearly twothirds of the world’s wind energy market), to triple its use of renewable energy sources by 2020 to provide for 20 percent of overall consumption. The plan additionally sets out, albeit in general terms, new regulatory measures to improve energy efficiency that highlight the importance of leveraging the internal European energy market and developing energy-saving and low-carbon technologies.5 The awareness and concern of European policymakers regarding climate change are reinforced by European public opinion: more than four-fifths of 11100-08_CH08.qxd 5/8/08 12:45 PM Page 192 The Race to Replace Kyoto by 2012 193 respondents to a Gallup Poll released in March 2007 agreed that they were “aware that the way they consume and produce energy in their country has a negative impact on climate,” and 87 percent were either “very much concerned ” or “to some degree concerned” about the effects...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780815701552
MARC Record
OCLC
430512405
Pages
237
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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