Integrated Europe. The contribution of the EU to the global climate policy


Term Paper, 2018

16 Pages, Grade: 2,3


Excerpt

Directory:

1. Consequences of the global warming

2. Why do we need a European climate policy?
2.1. Figures, Data & Facts
2.2. The climate change requires an international response - a historical 3 timeline
2.3. How does the system of the European Union function?
2.3.1. European Council
2.3.2. European Parliament
2.3.3. European Commission
2.3.4. European Court of Justice

3. How does the European Union participate in climate policy?
3.1. European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS)
3.2. Paris Agreement
3.2.1. The United States withdraws from the Paris Agreement

4. How will the future of climate policy look like?

Index of abbreviations:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Consequences of the global warming

The average global temperature is rising since years due to the increase of greenhouse gases. Human activities cause this phenomenon, which allows the solar energy to enter the atmosphere but not to outgo it.

Melting glaciers leading to a rise of the sea level is just one of numerous consequences, which could endanger insular states or any other coastal areas. Extreme weather events yield to floods and droughts in areas in which environmental disasters didn't occur before. For this reason, especially for poor countries, who can't handle the aftermaths, are af­fected which represents a danger for their food production but also for the lives of many people. For instance, heatwaves have already caused many of deaths.

In addition, the agricultural area and the availability of fresh water is decreasing because of the rising temperatures. The dropping stocks of aliment, as for example fish, causes regional conflicts, famines and flows of refugees. Moreover, many kinds of plants and animal become extinct owing to the results of the climate change.

As you can see the global warming is affecting not only the liquefying poles and the polar bears but also us, the hole humanity and the living standard of future generations. The United Nation (UN) estimates the number of migrants who are forced to leave their home­land by reason of the environment by several million people.1

So how exactly can we protect the climate, what is climate protection, what is the contri­bution of the European Union (EU) to it and why do we need a European climate policy?

2. Why do we need a European climate policy?

2.1. Figures, Data & Facts

The reason why the European Union campaigns since years for the climate protection is the fact that the percentage of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, in the Earth's atmosphere is higher as it was at least 800 thousand ago.2 Carbon dioxide is laid off by the combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other coal products. Two other important greenhouse gases are methane and nitrous oxide. While methane gets released by many human activities like the production of fossil fuels, animal husbandry and the production of rice and waste, nitrous oxide arises through fertilizer, the production of other chemicals and also through fossil fuels.3 80% of the greenhouse gases produced in the EU derive from the combustion of energy carrier like fossil fuels,4 which leads to the problem that the more greenhouse gases we have in the atmosphere, the less sun energy can escape it and the earth starts to heat up.

The average temperature increased since the 19th century about 1,2°C.5 However, the landmass of Europe has already heated up about 1,4°C.6 On the one hand even if emis­sions are getting reduced about 50% until 2050 compared to 1990, an increase in temper­ature of 2°C will hardly be avoidable.7 On the other hand with reference to scientific findings an irreversible and potentially catastrophically transformation of the global en­vironment is more and more likely to threaten us, if the average global warming overruns 2°C.8 Scenarios are taken as a basis in which a temperature rise up to 6°C is imaginable9 and current national measures could not prevent a rise of temperature by 3°C.

That's why the European has such a fundamental role in setting bindingly ambitions for member states to fight the global warming with global, international and not national measures. Between 1990 and 2012 the EU achieved a decrease of greenhouse gas emis­sion by 19% meanwhile the economy grew about 45% at the same time.10

2.2. The climate change requires an international response - a historical timeline

Global warming is not a new topic. It is negotiated for decades. 1988 the Intergovern­mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established. Its main function is to collect data about the climate change and to foster scientific findings.11

Four years after that in 1992 at the Rio Summit the United Nations discussed on the issue environment and development (United Nations Conference on Environment and Devel­opment, UNCED). They came to the decision to circumscribe the emission of greenhouse gases, so the ecosystem could adapt itself to the change. In March 21st, 1994 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came into effect.

The first essential move was the regulation of the carbon emission in 1997. The Kyoto protocol, which came 2005 into force, bindingly defines that industrial countries must lower their emissions about 5% until 2012 compared to 1990. Disadvantages were that on the one hand the United States of America have not ratified the protocol until today, and on the other hand that the protocol splits their participants into two groups. One group including industrial countries, who are forced to reduce their emissions and another group with emerging countries and developing countries, who are not committed to any reduc- tions.12

Next, at the summit in March 2007 the heads of state and heads of government of the EU enacted the so called 20-20-20 targets, which consists of three ambitions. On the one hand they want to lower the primary energy consumption at all about 20% and accomplish a reduction of the greenhouse gases also about 20%. On the other hand, the share in energy consumption of renewable energies should increase by 20% until 2020.13

Regarding to the Kyoto protocol of 1997, an extension of the protocol failed at the climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009. The US was still not willing to ratify the protocol and emerging countries, especially India and China, would not pass on their economic boom due to new regulations for them.14

However, a year later the UN Climate Conference in Cancùn yield some hope after the failure in Copenhagen. Besides new lowering goals for greenhouse gases and forestry conservation, the UNFCCC set a new ambition not to overshoot the global warming about 2°C (climate change's 2 degrees Celsius of warming limit) which is an aspiring but not unreachable target. Until 2050 the emission of greenhouse gases must decrease about 50%15 and about 80 to 95% in industrial countries.16 In addition, one should start reduc­ing the emissions yet in the 2010s. In the second half of the 21st century emissions are obliged to be equal to zero.17 Technically the target can be reached, but the longer we wait the higher the costs will be and the riskier the technologies must be to achieve the goal.18

Anyways, there were disagreements between industrial countries, which are saying that nowadays more than the half of emissions is produced by developing countries, which declaimed that the accumulated amount of produced greenhouse gases is much higher in industrial countries. Because of the discrimination each side complains, the Paris Agree­ment (see chapter 3.2) determines that every nation must participate in climate policy. The agreement should enter into force as from 2020 after the terms were accepted in 2015.19

2.3. How does the system of the European Union function?

In general, the rules for climate policy and for other political areas are the same. The European Commission gives suggestions and introduces bills, which are proved by the European Parliament. Moreover, the Commission is bound to control the application of the European Community Law and can also act partially legislative.

2.3.1. European Council

The European Council is the most important legislative decision-making body. Compe­tent ministers of each member state are deciding on new rules and political topics. Ballots are based on the principle of a double majority, which means that for the latest laws an agreement of 55% of the member states is needed while their ministers have to represent at least 65% of the population.20

2.3.2. European Parliament

The European Parliament is the only decision-making body which is directly voted. Since 1979 the European elections take place every five years. The number of electable deputies of each country is defined by its size. Like the European Council the Parliament is also part of the legislative and debates on recent bills. As in every parliament, parties are sub­divided in fractions but there is no governing party or an opposition. One key function of the European Parliament is the control of the European Commission.21

2.3.3. European Commission

In its significant role in the abatement against the climate change the European Commis­sion has many functions. Generally speaking, the tasks of the 28 commissars (one of each member state) are the administration of the European Union, to look if the member states hold their contracts and to compile new bills. The European Commission can only act when a collective resolution is existing with acceptance of all member states, so it legis­lates bills which were enacted by every single government representative and deputy.

Furthermore, the executive can impose a sanction on every member state, who ignores the instructions.22

[...]


1 Cf. Kalb, J., Deutschland und Europa - Energie- und Klimapolitik in Europa, 2011, p. 5 et seqq.

2 Cf. Europäische Kommission, Klimaschutz - Eine kohlenstoffemissionsarme Wirtschaft fördert Wachs­tum und schafft Arbeitsplätze, 2014, p.1 et seqq.

3 Cf. Europäische Kommission, Klimaschutz - Eine kohlenstoffemissionsarme Wirtschaft fördert Wachs­tum und schafft Arbeitsplätze, 2014, p. 3.

4 Cf. Geden, O., Fischer, S., Die Energie- und Klimapolitk der Europäischen Union - Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, 2008 p. 14 et seqq.

5 Cf. World Meteorological Organization, Provisional WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Cli­mate in 2016, 2016, no page number.

6 Cf. Europäische Kommission, Klimaschutz - Eine kohlenstoffemissionsarme Wirtschaft fördert Wachs­tum und schafft Arbeitsplätze, 2014, p. 4.

7 Cf. Kalb, J., Deutschland und Europa - Energie- und Klimapolitik in Europa, 2011, p. 5 et seqq.

8 Cf. Europäische Kommission, Klimaschutz - Eine kohlenstoffemissionsarme Wirtschaft fördert Wachs­tum und schafft Arbeitsplätze, 2014, p. 4.

9 Cf. Geden, O., Fischer, S., Die Energie- und Klimapolitk der Europäischen Union - Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, 2008 p. 14 et seqq.

10 Cf. Europäische Kommission, Klimaschutz - Eine kohlenstoffemissionsarme Wirtschaft fördert Wachstum und schafft Arbeitsplätze, 2014, p. 5.

11 Cf. Herrler, C., Warum eigentlich Klimaschutz?, 2017, p. 18 et seq.

12 Cf. Müller, M., Deutschland und Europa - Energie- und Klimapolitik in Europa, 2011, p. 13 et seqq.

13 Cf. Blesl, M., et al., Integrierte Szenarioanalysen zu Energie- und Klimaschutzstrategien in Deutschland in einem Post-Kyoto-Regime, 2011, p. 1 et seqq.

14 Cf. Müller, M., Deutschland und Europa - Energie- und Klimapolitik in Europa, 2011, p. 13 et seqq.

15 Cf. Meinshausen, Malte, Wega aus der Klimafalle - Neue Ziele, neue Allianzen, neue Technologien - was eine zukünftige Klimapolitik leisten muss, 2008, p. 19 et seqq.

16 Cf. Edenhofer, O., et al., Kassensturz für den Weltklimavertrag - Der Budgetansatz, 2009, p. 15.

17 Cf. Rogelj, J., et al., Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2 °C, 2016, p. 1 et seqq.

18 Cf. Edenhofer, O., Kadner, S., Minx, J., Ist das Zwei-Grad-Ziel wünschenswert und ist es noch erreich­bar? Der Beitrag der Wissenschaft zu einer politischen Debatte, 2015, p. 91.

19 Cf. Europäische Kommission, Klimaschutz - Eine kohlenstoffemissionsarme Wirtschaft fördert Wachstum und schafft Arbeitsplätze, 2014, p.6 et seqq.

20 Cf. Geden, O., Fischer, S., Die Energie- und Klimapolitik der Europäischen Union - Bestandsauf­nahme und Perspektiven, 2008, p. 33 et seqq.

21 Cf. Geden, O., Fischer, S., Die Energie- und Klimapolitik der Europäischen Union - Bestandsauf­nahme und Perspektiven, 2008, p. 33 et seqq.

22 Cf. Geden, O., Fischer, S., Die Energie- und Klimapolitik der Europäischen Union - Bestandsauf­nahme und Perspektiven, 2008, p. 33 et seqq.

Excerpt out of 16 pages

Details

Title
Integrated Europe. The contribution of the EU to the global climate policy
College
University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart
Grade
2,3
Author
Year
2018
Pages
16
Catalog Number
V536321
ISBN (eBook)
9783346128881
ISBN (Book)
9783346128898
Language
English
Tags
Klima, Politik, Klimapolitik, EU, Klimawandel
Quote paper
Patric Dettinger (Author), 2018, Integrated Europe. The contribution of the EU to the global climate policy, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/536321

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Integrated Europe. The contribution of the EU to the global climate policy



Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free