Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
Chapter 5: Global imbalances in climate protection, leadership ambitions and EU climate change law
The message conveyed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is clear: the global climate crisis has arrived (e.g., IPCC, 2007, 2014). It is commonly understood that responding to this crisis requires coordinated actions at a global level (Weischer et al., 2012, p. 117; Kulovesi, 2012, p. 193). Attempts to slow down the increase in global temperature, as well as to organize and exchange climate adjustment strategies across jurisdictions, are thus negotiated and coordinated within the framework of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). Almost 200 countries are parties to the resulting protocols, and finding consensus on issues such as who needs to make emissions cuts, which sectors and sources to include, has proven challenging (Bodansky and Rajamani, 2013). For instance, Canada, India and until recently also the United States and China have rejected emissions targets established through international negotiations altogether, while less than 40 countries, including the European Union and its member states, are subject to these (Bodansky, 2011). For certain non-committing parties, this may be in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as incorporated in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (see Principle 7 in Rajamani, 2000) but the point in this chapter is not to address the equity of the imbalance in assuming responsibility for climate issues; rather, the focal point here is that this imbalance signifies that only a small percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions are covered by climate protocol norms.
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