Europe and Global Climate Change
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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.
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Chapter 2: The Politics of Climate Change in Germany: Domestic Sources of Environmental Foreign Policy

Michael T. Hatch


Michael T Hatch INTRODUCTION Throughout the series of international negotiations leading to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, Germany has been a strong proponent of ambitious emissions targets. In October 1990, for example, the European Community (EC) adopted a target of stabilizing CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000 – a position pushed, in part, by the German and like-minded European governments to give them greater influence in the negotiations on an international climate change agreement. In advance of the third conference of the parties (COP3), the European Union (EU) called for a 15 per cent cut in CO2 emissions by 2010. This EU target was based on a burden-sharing arrangement in which Germany was a major contributor – a 25 per cent reduction in domestic CO2 emissions, which translated into an estimated 80 per cent of total EU reductions. In the aftermath of the compromize reached at Kyoto, the burden-sharing arrangements negotiated within the EU called for Germany to undertake a 21 per cent domestic cut in emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases (GHGs) stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol. Clearly, Germany has been an important player in the global climate change (GCC) negotiations and is central to the commitments assumed by the EU under the Kyoto Protocol – in the absence of substantial reductions of GHG emissions in Germany, the EU has little chance of meeting its international obligations. The core question to be addressed in this chapter is...

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