The EU and climate change: Leading the way towards a Post-2012 regime?

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As an actor in international climate negotiations, the European Union has been commonly perceived as a global leader, both by advocating stringent commitments for participating states and by pioneering ambitious and innovative domestic climate policies. With discussions on a future climate regime currently underway, the international community is once again looking towards Europe for leadership by example and by virtue of its diplomatic authority. At the same time, several lapses in the national implementation of common policies have become publicised, while the objective of a united European voice in diplomatic negotiatings often remains a wishful aspiration. Drawing on authoritative documents as well as the legislative powers of the Community, this article identifies the boundaries and cornerstones of a European mandate for global climate policy negotiations beyond 2012.

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