Environmental Regulation in Cities and Other Localities
The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Benjamin J. Richardson
Chapter 10: Local Climate Action in the European Union
Marjan Peeters* 1. INTRODUCTION With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, combating climate change is now explicitly recognized as one of the policy objectives of the European Union. Article 191(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) affirms that EU policy shall contribute to the pursuit of, inter alia, ‘promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change’.1 This rule codifies an already ongoing practice of the EU to provide global leadership on climate protection. This role has been underscored by the adoption of a vast package of EU climate and energy legislation imposing both obligations on EU Member States and, through EU regulations, duties on private actors.2 The details of this legislative package are extremely complex, which poses a challenge for local governments in EU Member States when determining their room for manoeuvre on addressing climate change, in particular with regard to mitigation. This chapter will outline the core elements of the current EU climate package, focusing on some dilemmas for local governments that seek to pursue a low carbon policy. Part 2 sets out the main elements of EU mitigation law, explaining the room for action left for national and local governments. Part 3 of the chapter focuses on some selected approaches and related dilemmas for local governments addressing climate change, focusing in particular on mitigation. Adaptation measures, which are responses that seek to protect against the...
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