From Kyoto to Paris: the European Union's contribution to a new world climate order

Beatriz Pérez de las Heras


The European Union (EU)’s climate policy is closely linked to its commitments under the international regime of the United Nations (UN). The Union was a party to the Kyoto Protocol; it contributed to its ratification and largely surpassed its mitigation obligations during the first commitment period (2008-2012). It is currently one of the few developed parties with voluntary mitigation obligations for the second Kyoto commitment period (2013-2020), whose scope and contents draw critically on the EU 2020 climate-energy package. While implementing this binding framework, the EU is giving legal contents to the 2030 climate-energy package as a major contribution to the new international climate regime under the Paris Agreement, in whose design and adoption the Union also played a key role. Recent policies and other proposals now in prospect are intended to transform the EU into a competitive and sustainable economy by 2050. The new measures also signal the way for further collective action beyond 2025 under the Paris Agreement.

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climate change, European Union, mitigation, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement

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