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The European Union’s Approach to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Although the Kyoto Protocol only came into force in February of this year, the European Union, both collectively and at Member State level, has over ten years’ experience debating, agreeing and implementing climate change-related policies. It is both the lively domestic dialogue and the commitment to international coordinated action that has put Europe into a leadership position in climate change policy.

by Jason Anderson, Ian Skinner

But the test of its leadership is really just beginning. Having chaperoned the Protocol to entry into force, Europe must now make good on its domestic commitments, in large measure through its innovative emissions trading system, while convincing the United States and large developing countries that in future, they too will be expected to take solid commitments to help avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate. In an atmosphere of economic competitiveness and development concerns, the message that emissions must be driven ever downward over the coming decades will be difficult to bring across – not just externally, but within the Union itself. Still, repeated commitments to doing just that continue to guide Europe’s policies.

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published: Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, JEEPL 2/2005 (April 2005), 4|2005
Keywords: Bring System, Environmental Policy, Material Flow Management, Policy of European Union, EU, United States of America
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