Page 28 - Respond 2014 | RTCC Publications
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By Nick Mabey, Chief Executive, E3G
s Europe begins to debate its climate mitigation targets for 2030 a
predictable debate has reopened over its role in international climate
This polarises around two extremes. Some argue that Europe must be the unilateral
global leader driving a 2C agreement. Others complain that Europe’s past leadership
achieved nothing and other countries should lead frst.
This oscillation between hubris and despair will be familiar to seasoned Europe
observers. Neither approach refects the reality of Europe’s place in the world, or what
is needed to protect the fundamental interests of European citizens.
Europe needs a strategy based on the realities of the world as it is, refecting the
positive and negative shifts we have seen in the past years.

Europe needs to have its

own distinct strategy to build
the broad alliances needed for The world has changed since Copenhagen. The fnancial
” “West”, but the rising powers have not stepped up fll
an ambitious climate deal crisis has reduced the authority and infuence of the

the gap. The result is a decline in collective leadership to
tackle common problems. This is a problem for Europe in
delivering its climate change objectives, but is a result of
the times not European weakness.

While the geo-politics of cooperation have got harder,
the economic logic of tackling climate change has
become more compelling. Shale gas has changed the
energy landscape in the US, but the rest of the world
has experienced a huge rise in oil and gas prices driven
by demand in emerging economies. With oil producing
states from Saudi Arabia to Russia needing prices of
$100-150 barrel to maintain government spending these
prices will endure.

Meanwhile the cost of renewable energy, and energy
effcient technologies like LED lights, have fallen far faster
than expected as technology has improved and Chinese
supply chains have expanded. Costs in many sectors are
Photo: © Etienne Berthier Université de Toulouse-NASA goddard Space Flight Center. already near previous estimates for 2020-2030. Combined

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