The EU - a climate change driver?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Climate change is regarded as one of our times greatest environmental, social and economic challenges, the cross-boundry effects and global implications makes it an issue high on the EU agenda. When the EU in 2008 implemented a climate reduction target of 20% in greenhouse gas emissions for its Member States the ambitions were clearly altered from the Kyoto Protocol taking place only a decade prior. The emission target negotiated at Kyoto stated a collective carbon reduction of 8% for the EU, which implies that there had been a great change in climate change ambitions from 1997 to 2008. This thesis examines the field of climate change and aims at identifying the underlying factors that can explain the increase in climate change ambition during this time period. Germany and the United Kingdom are used as empirical evidence and analysed with the help of neofunctionalist and liberal intergovernmentalist theories, with the aim of explaining the change in EU environmental ambition as developments by nation-states or the influence of supranational actors.

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