Among the countries and organisations subscribing to the objective of ‘climate neutrality’ by the middle of the twenty-first century, the European Union is a rather distinctive actor, whose long-standing efforts to deliver decarbonisation deserve particularly close attention. The chapter begins with a brief outline of the main actors, institutions and policy processes involved in the EU climate policy process. This is followed by a chronological account of the evolution of EU climate policy and politics, including key instruments such as the Emissions Trading System, covering the period from the early 1990s up to the 2019 European Green Deal and 2021 ‘Fit for 55’ package of measures. The final section explains the rationale for the structure of the book, and summarizes the aims and objectives of the following 25 chapters.

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