The New International Climate Regime and EU Member States’ Commitments
AbstractThis article examines the strength and ambition of twenty-one EU member states’ national emissions commitments in the context of the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015. The outcomes show that mainly countries situated in Scandinavia, the British Isles and Western Europe already included post-2020 emissions targets in their national law or strategies. External factors derived from constructivism or the theory of structural embeddedness indicate a significant correlation with the strength and ambition of the commitments, while domestic factors give mixed results. A number of EU members, including those belonging to the G-7 group, demonstrate, in comparison with the most developed non-EU countries, greater efforts to satisfy the important principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. This is essential for maintaining the EU leadership in the international climate regime.
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