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In the European Union, Consensus is Lacking on Climate Change

The European Union (EU) has been meeting regularly to come up with a consistent position on climate change going into Copenhagen in December. The big ticket item in all of these meetings is how to fund global climate change in terms of adaptation and mitigation. So far, the EU has failed to find common ground. Commentary appeared on the COP15 website this morning regarding this issue. Another article appeared in the Irish Times last week.

The EU finance ministers will meet again this weekend to try to iron out an official position.  However, the fact remains that without consensuses, the EU could potentially see a rift between the older, industrialized countries (France, Britain, Spain, Germany, etc) and the newer, developing members including Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. Furthermore, the lack of unification would make it difficult for the EU to be seen as leader on climate change and threaten its ability to play a larger role in the summit early this December in Copenhagen.

One Response

  1. The issue of rift within the EU goes deeper than finding a unified agenda for Copenhagen. One of the major weaknesses of the EU is that it has widened significantly without deepening it’s policies. The rapid territorial expansion within the EU requires a strong enough framework to hold together competing agendas. Lack of consensus on climate change adaptation and mitigation approach is the perfect example of the symptom of a larger cause. However, perhaps uniting issues, like climate change, can act as glue to help the EU function as a cohesive group of nations and encourage member states to unite. Regarding the climate debate in Copenhagen, international reputation will also encourage the EU to live up to the global expectations and move forward with a more unified agenda.

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