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EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon ©:UN Photo Mark Garten.

with a quiet revolution in building and vehicle standards the world is far further along a Obama and Xi may have agreed an eye-catching Summit
low carbon path than anticipated. The global low carbon economy is already worth $3-4 statement on climate change this year, but it was more
trillion each year and renewable energy makes up over 40% of power investment. a signal of their inability to make progress on more
contentious issues than a signal of a new “G2” order.
Perceptions of national interests in climate action are also shifting. Superstorm Sandy
and nationwide drought has fundamentally changed US views on domestic climate Confdence comes from a sense of agency in the world.
risks as in 2012 extreme weather events caused losses of over 1.3% of US GDP. Europe needs to better understand the different ways in
Extreme air pollution in China has become a political issue and accelerated the shift it can shape the global environment in order to deliver
away from coal. Chinese leaders realise they have strong national interests in ensuring its fundamental interests. This requires a clear-eyed
the next generation of Chinese infrastructure is clean, effcient and low carbon. focus on the realities of global politics; on outcomes not
Countries from Mexico to South Korea are betting their industrial future on growing summit statements.
global markets for green and low carbon technology.
The record shows that Europe’s biggest lever on
These changes have multiple causes but would have been infeasible without strong global action is its domestic ambition. Europe needs
European climate action shaping global markets, regulations and diplomacy. It to propose a domestic greenhouse gas target of at
was German and Spanish policy which supported the creation of the Chinese solar least a 50% reduction from 1990 levels if it is to keep a
industry, which then drove a seven-fold increase in Chinese solar deployment. In realistic prospect of a 2C future in sight. This offer must
an interdependent world infuence is transmitted as much by markets and “policy be backed by signifcantly more political investment
osmosis” as it is by diplomatic grand bargains. in climate diplomacy at leader’s level if it is to shape a
climate of ambition toward the UN Climate Summit in
Unsurprisingly a post-crisis Europe is internally-focused, but failing to lead on climate 2014 and Paris in 2015.
change is a luxury the EU cannot afford. Europe is highly exposed to climate risks and
is surrounded by the most climate vulnerable and unstable regions in the world. There There are no risk-free strategies to infuence in a multi-
is no realistic prospect of sustainable stability and peace in North Africa, the Sahel or polar world where it is always easier to block than to
the Middle East in a 4C world. build, but only by taking bold moves to shape global
politics is there any chance of
Europe needs a world where global rules work and would fare badly in a system of Europe can deliver on its core
great power competition. It is diffcult to imagine a world where there was no effective interests.
international climate change regime but trade was still open and rules-based. With
Paris hosting the 2015 climate negotiations, Europe can show how to build meaningful Nick Mabey, Chief Executive, E3G
cooperation in this more complex global order.
While Europe must work with the other major powers, it needs to have its own distinct
strategy to build the broad alliances needed for an ambitious climate deal. Presidents 27
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