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 16: Explaining European Responses to Global Climate Change: Power, Interests and Ideas in Domestic and International Politics

Paul G. Harris


Paul G Harris INTRODUCTION This volume has described and explained several aspects of European and European Union (EU) responses to global climate change (GCC). We have examined the policies of, and politics within and among, several European states, especially Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK). We have also endeavored to explain how and why the EU formulated and implemented its GCC policies, and we have sought to illuminate the influences of member states and the international GCC regime on the EU’s internal and external policies in this issue area. We have also tried to show how and why ideas, including principled (normative) beliefs, have influenced national and regional responses to global climate change. Our main aims have been (1) to analyze these ‘whats’, ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of European countries’ and the EU’s GCC policies, and (2) to add to existing understandings of these policies by explicitly thinking more or less in terms of environmental foreign policy (EFP) and by applying EFP theories to them. Analyzing and thinking about European and EU GCC policies from this ‘foreign policy perspective’ by definition highlights the crossovers and interactions between domestic and international politics and policy, including the actors, institutions and forces at both levels, thereby increasing our knowledge of how and why Europe has responded to GCC the way it has, and helping us to anticipate how European actors might behave in the future. A RECAP OF THEORY How can we explain Europe’s domestic, regional and...

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