An Essential Companion
Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters
Chapter 27: The European Parliament and international climate negotiations
The European Parliament (EP) has evolved as an actor in its own right in international climate politics by using a multifaceted array of direct and indirect pathways. While not directly negotiating on behalf of the European Union (EU), it has used other formal and informal means in the remit of its powers to shape the EU position in international negotiations and to influence the negotiations directly. With the Lisbon Treaty, the EP has received a veto power derived from the so-called consent procedure for ratifying international climate agreements. This has provided it with some leverage to engage in informal exchanges with the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, who are the official EU climate negotiators. Through parliamentary resolutions the EP officially voices its views on the EU’s stance for the annual Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) try to directly influence the negotiations by joining the official EU delegation to COPs and through formal and informal cooperation with external parliamentarians and other stakeholders. While it is difficult to assess its exact influence, it is fair to say that the EP has been recognized as an actor in international climate politics, and developed the capacity to do so.
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