IES Autumn Lecture Series: The European Union and the Fight against Global Climate Change


Summary
In collaboration with the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)

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Climate change has taken centre stage in European and international politics. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007 confirmed that climate change is one of the most serious threats to international security and the well-being of human kind. At the European level, climate change has become a major agenda item regularly discussed by the European Council. Internationally, the issue has become one of “high politics”. Since 2005, it has been a top priority of the G-8 Summits, and both the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly placed it high on their agendas in 2007. World leaders are rallying to achieve a new global deal for combating global warming under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by the end of 2009. Overall, there is hardly any high-level political encounter in which the issue is not discussed.

The European Union has established itself as the most prominent international leader on the issue. It has been one of the most fervent supporters of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, and it is currently again striving to assert its leadership in the ongoing efforts to reach a new global agreement by the end of 2009. The EU has increasingly underpinned its international leadership position with domestic action. Most prominently, it introduced a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme in 2005. In 2007 and 2008, the European Commission furthermore tabled major legislative proposals to implement the EU’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% increasing the share of renewable energies to 20% by 2020.

With the growing prominence of climate change on the international and European policy agendas, there is an increasing demand for information, analysis, discussion and reflection. The news media now regularly address climate change and climate policy has been presented as an important driver and rationale for advancing European integration. However, comprehensive overviews of the most relevant European and international regulatory frameworks and policies – and the interconnections between them – remain rare. What are the prospects for the EU keeping its international leadership and brokering a new global deal? How do international and domestic climate policies of the EU relate and are they mutually supportive? Are domestic climate policies sufficient to meet the environmental, economic and political challenge posed by global climate change?

These and other issues will be addressed in our lecture series on the role of the EU in the fight against global climate change. We are happy to be able to present top-level speakers of various backgrounds, who will elaborate on the EU’s international and domestic climate policies and their interrelations. In this way, the lecture series will enhance understanding and contribute to further discussions on the current and potential role of the EU in the fight against climate change. Support by the European Commission through its Jean Monnet Programme (Lifelong Learning) is gratefully acknowledged.

We look forward to your attendance and active participation in the lectures.




Programme

Slide presentations from past lectures are now available to download, by clicking on the speakers' names below.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008, 18.00-20.00h (VUB Aula D.0.03, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

The EU and the International Cooperation on Climate Change (introduction to lecture series)
  • Sebastian Oberthür, Academic Director, Institute for European Studies (IES)
  • Marc Pallemaerts, Senior Fellow, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
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    Wednesday, 8 October 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU, the IPCC and the Science of Climate Change: The 2°C target
    Malte Meinshausen, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
    Bill Hare
    , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (IES) Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, Université Catholique de Louvain and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

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    Wednesday, 15 October 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    EU Climate Policies: State and Perspectives
    Marc Pallemaerts, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
    Stephan Singer, WWF

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    Wednesday, 22 October 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    Mitigating CO2 Emissions from Cars
    Patrick ten Brink, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
    Christian Hey, Secretary General, German Advisory Council on the Environment

    Wednesday, 29 October 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU Emissions Trading Scheme: Internal and External Dimensions
    Jørgen Wettestad, Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), Lysaker, Norway
    Yvon Slingenberg, European Commission, DG Environment

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    Wednesday, 5 November 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU and Adaptation to Climate Change: Internal and External Dimensions
    Aurore Maillet, European Commission, DG Environment
    Saleemul Huq, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) 

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    Wednesday, 12 November 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU, Climate Change and the Promotion of Renewable Energy
    Jason Anderson, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
    Tom Howes, European Commission, DG Transport & Energy

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    Wednesday, 19 November 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The Prospects for a New International Agreement on Climate Change
    Michael Zammit Cutajar, Ambassador on Climate Change, Malta
    Joyeeta Gupta, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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    Wednesday, 26 November 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU as an Actor in International Climate Policy: External Competence, Internal Procedure and Actual Practice
    Nuno Lacasta, Climate Change Commission/Portuguese Carbon Fund
    Louise van Schaik, Clingendael Institute, The Hague

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    Monday, 1 December 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula QD, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    Transatlantic Politics of Climate Change
    Miranda Schreurs, Director, Environmental Policy Research Centre, Free University Berlin
    Alexander Ochs, Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP)

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    Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU, Russia and Climate Change
    Wybe Douma, T.M.C. Asser Instituut, The Hague
    Mikhail Kozeltsev, Russian Regional Environment Centre

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    Wednesday, 17 December 2008, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.05, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    The EU and the Future of International Climate Protection
    Nicola Notaro, European Commission, DG Environment
    Laurence Tubiana, Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (IDDRI)

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    Wednesday, 21 January 2009, 18-20h (VUB Aula D.0.03, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels)

    KEY-NOTE LECTURE: The EU Climate/Energy Package: Internal and External Implications
    Jos Delbeke, Deputy Director-General, DG Environment
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