The Role of the EU, the U.S., and China in Addressing Climate Change
Laursen, F. (ed.) The EU and the Political Economy of Transatlantic Relations, Brussels: PIE Peter Lang, pp. 221-260, 2012
46 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2013 Last revised: 2 Oct 2017
Date Written: December 10, 2012
Climate change is the most serious environmental threat to humankind, the sustainability of the world’s environment, the health and well-being of its people, and the global economy. It is global, long-term, and accelerating, and in particular, will have a substantial impact on social, economic and environmental systems, and their interactions, and thereby on aspects of human security including water, food, and health. We are far from knowing the solution to climate change. The scientific community believes that global warming poses a crisis, and the longer we wait, the harder and more expensive it becomes to deal with climate change. Although various steps have been taken to reach a solution, there are still many uncertainties about the scale and impacts of climate change. Despite these uncertainties, climate change is a serious risk worth combating through well-designed cost-effective policies.
This chapter analyzes the position of the three main players in climate change: the U.S., China, and the European Union (EU). Although climate change is a truly global issue, for the purposes of this chapter only three main players in the global climate change negotiations will be analyzed: China, the U.S., and the EU. They are the world’s first, second, and third largest emitters of CO2 respectively, and the EU has some of the strongest domestic support to address the climate change challenge. Each one of them is geographically and socially diverse, which is taken into account when analyzing them.
Keywords: Kyoto Protocol, European Union, EU emissions cuts, EU emissions trading scheme, global warming, climate change
JEL Classification: N5, Q2, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation