Susanne Dröge (ed.)

International Climate Policy

Priorities of Key Negotiating Parties

SWP Research Paper 2010/RP 02, March 2010, 111 Pages

International climate policy has received an unprecedented attention in 2009 and 2010. However, the Copenhagen summit of 194 members to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2009 did not result in a new international binding treaty for climate protection, adaptation, technological cooperation or financial transfers. Instead, a political declaration, the Copenhagen Accord, was set up which includes a number of important cornerstones for a future regime. While the Accord declares that high financial transfers will be delivered by 2012, it lacks a clear path for reaching the two degrees target proclaimed as an overarching goal. Given the slow progress, efforts by Germany and the EU should more than ever focus on the national interests of major economies and emitters, in particular the US, China, India, and Russia, and on cooperating more closely with the proactive climate negotiators Brazil and South Africa.

This Research Paper presents the climate policy priorities of the six countries and the EU. It departs from their self-perception in international negotiations and from the role climate policy plays for their foreign policy agenda. Besides being major international players, all countries target economic growth and this dominates the willingness to act against emissions - an argument playing out to the full in international negotiations. Thus, international efforts to combat climate change need a much broader political basis incorporating economic and development cooperation. Our research on the six countries and the EU delivers insights on particular bilateral and multilateral common interests, which would not only bring forward international cooperation on a future legal framework, but also and foremost effective action against rising emissions.

Table of Contents

Problems und Conclusions

Susanne Dröge
The International Climate Policy Negotiations: Objectives, Themes, and Prospects for Success

Oliver Geden / Martin Kremer
The European Union: A Challenged Leader in Ambitious International Climate Policy

Stormy-Annika Mildner / Jörn Richert
Going Green?
The New US Climate Policy under Barack Obama

Gudrun Wacker
Caught in the Middle: China's Crucial but Ambivalent Role in the International Climate Negotiations

Christian Wagner
India: A Difficult Partner in International Climate Policy

Kirsten Westphal
Russia: Climate Policy on the Sidelines

Claudia Zilla
Brazil and Climate Policy: A Creative Partner with High Potential

Jörg Husar
South Africa in the Climate Change Negotiations: Global Activism and Domestic Veto Players



The Authors

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