Table of Contents

Europe and Global Climate Change

Europe and Global Climate Change

Politics, Foreign Policy and Regional Cooperation

Edited by Paul G. Harris

The core objective of this book is to better understand the role of foreign policy – the crossovers and interactions between domestic and international politics and policies – in efforts to preserve the environment and natural resources. Underlying this objective is the belief that it is not enough to analyze domestic or international political actors, institutions and processes by themselves. We need to understand the interactions among them, something that explicit thought about foreign policy can help us do.

Chapter 15: Sharing the Burdens of Global Climate Change: International Equity and Justice in European Policy

Paul G. Harris

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, public policy


Paul G Harris* INTRODUCTION Preceding chapters have analyzed how and why several European countries and the European Union (EU) have started to act on global climate change (GCC). In this chapter, Europe’s policies and actions on GCC are examined in the context of global justice generally and international environmental equity (IEE) or fairness in particular. The concept of IEE refers to the fair and just sharing of the burdens associated with environmental changes (see Harris 2001b: 25–43). The questions I want to look at here are, first, what role do and should considerations of international (social and distributive) justice and IEE play in the climate change regime? Secondly, in what ways might ideas about global justice and IEE have shaped European policies on GCC? Finally, are European countries, and is the EU as an organization and a community, doing enough to share the burdens of GCC?1 We can address these questions from both practical and normative-ethical perspectives. From a practical perspective, it is reasonable to assert that Europe should do its part to act on the provisions of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) calling for stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that avoids ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with the Earth’s climate (UNFCCC 1992: Article 2). From a normative perspective, we might argue that Europe should meet a number of commonly accepted ethical standards of international burden sharing. In the real world, of course, practical matters and ethical ones often overlap. Thus the international...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information