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Ole Elgström

Ole Elgström

Professor emeritus

Ole Elgström

The EU's role in climate change negotiations: from leader to 'leadiator'

Author

  • Karin Bäckstrand
  • Ole Elgström

Summary, in English

We start with two puzzles: first, how to explain the European Union (EU)'s decline as a climate change leader at the Copenhagen summit? Second, how to understand the partial revival of its leadership position at the Durban climate summit? We advance a twofold explanation, focusing on changes in relative power relations among major powers but also on negotiation strategies and coalition building. In Copenhagen, the EU had a normative agenda and unrealistic expectations and thereby failed to forge any bridge-building coalitions. In Durban, it had moved towards a pragmatic strategy, attuned to the realities of changing power constellations. The EU approached developing countries that shared its desire for a legally binding regime covering all major emitters and probed compromises with veto players, such as China and the US. This bridge-building strategy was combined with a conditional pledge to agree to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. In sum, the EU acted as a leadiator', a leader-cum-mediator.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year

2013

Language

English

Pages

1369-1386

Publication/Series

Journal of European Public Policy

Volume

20

Issue

10

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Topic

  • Political Science

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • coalition building
  • emerging powers
  • European Union
  • leadership
  • negotiation strategy

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1350-1763