1st Edition

The European Union in International Climate Change Politics Still Taking a Lead?

    336 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    336 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In recent years climate change has emerged as an issue of central political importance while the EU has become a major player in international climate change politics. How can a ‘leaderless Europe’ offer leadership in international climate change politics - even in the wake of the UK’s Brexit decision?

    This book, which has been written by leading experts, offers a critical analysis of the EU leadership role in international climate change politics. It focuses on the main EU institutions, core EU member states and central societal actors (businesses and environmental NGOs). It also contains an external perspective of the EU’s climate change leadership role with chapters on China, India and the USA as well as Norway. Four core themes addressed in the book are: leadership, multilevel and polycentric governance, policy instruments, and the green and low carbon economy. Fundamentally, it asks why we have EU institutional actors, why certain member states and particular societal actors tried to take on a leadership role in climate change politics and how, if at all, have they managed to achieve this?

    This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners in EU studies and politics, international relations, comparative politics and environmental politics.

    Part I: Introduction

    1. Introduction: European Union Climate Leadership [Rüdiger K.W. Wurzel, Duncan Liefferink and James Connelly]

    2. Global Climate Politics: Can the EU be an Actor? [John Vogler]

    Part II: EU Institutions

    3. The Commission’s Shifting Climate Leadership: From Emissions Trading to Energy Union [Jon Birger Skjærseth]

    4. The European Parliament and Climate Change: A Constrained Leader? [Charlotte Burns]

    5. The Council and the European Council: Stuck on the Road to Transformational Leadership [Claire Dupont and Sebastian Oberthür] 

    Part III: Member States and Neighbouring European States

    6. Denmark: Small State with Big Voice and Bigger Dilemmas [Mikael Skou Andersen and Helle Ørsted Nielsen]

    7. French Climate Policy: Diplomacy in the Service of Symbolic Leadership? [Pierre Bocquillon and Aurélien Evrard]

    8. Germany: Innovation and Climate Leadership [Martin Jänicke]

    9. The Netherlands: A Case of Fading Leadership [Duncan Liefferink, Daan Boezeman and Heleen de Coninck]

    10. Poland’s Clash Over Energy and Climate Policy: Green Economy or Grey Status Quo? [Karolina Jankowska]

    11. Spanish Climate Change Policy in a Changing Landscape [Israel Solorio]

    12. The United Kingdom: A Record of Leadership under Threat [Tim Rayner and Andrew Jordan]

    13. Norway: A Dissonant Cognitive Leader? [Elin Lerum Boasson and Bård Lahn]

    Part IV: Civil Society: Business and Environmental Groups

    14. Business: Greening at the Edges [Wyn Grant]

    15. Environmental NGOs: Pushing For Leadership [Rüdiger K.W. Wurzel, James Connelly and Elizabeth Monaghan]

    Part V: Europe and the Wider World

    16. United States: The Challenge of Global Climate Leadership in a Politically Divided State [Guri Bang and Miranda Schreurs]

    17. China: From A Marginalized Follower to an Emerging Leader in Climate Politics [Xinlei Li]

    18. India: The Global Climate Power Torn Between ‘Growth-First’ and ‘Green Growth’ [Kirsten Jörgensen]

    Part VI: Conclusion

    19. Conclusion: Re-Assessing European Union Climate Leadership [Rüdiger K.W. Wurzel, Duncan Liefferink and James Connelly]


    Rüdiger K.W. Wurzel is Professor of Comparative European Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Studies in the School of Law and Politics, University of Hull.

    James Connelly is Professor of Political Theory, School of Law and Politics, University of Hull.

    Duncan Liefferink is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Sciences of the Environment, Institute of Management Research, at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

    'This is a clear, well written, sophisticated and comprehensive assessment of the EU’s role in international climate change politics. Bringing together the leading experts, it explores all the various facets of this role – including how it is perceived by others – and manages to do so in a theoretically informed way that adds to our understanding of leadership in in international politics. I recommend it wholeheartedly.' - Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, King’s College London, UK

    'This book addresses a topic of high political and academic relevance, based on a highly innovative analytical framework – a standard read for anyone interested in international climate change politics.' - Christoph Knill, Professor of Empirical Theories of Politics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

    'This volume makes substantial contributions to our understanding of the EU roles in global politics, Europe’s ability to provide global leadership, and the impediments to such leadership. Rather than simply assume or assert EU leadership, authors explore different leadership types and styles, enabling analyses that find clear leadership success in some cases and circumstances, while identifying failure and limitations elsewhere. The book should be read by scholars, students and European policymakers alike.' - Stacy VanDeveer, Professor of Political Science, University of New Hampshire