Where to go from Paris? The European Union in climate geopolitics

In a newly published article in Global Affairs, Sebastian Oberthür analyses the EU’s role and position in ‘climate geopolitics’ after the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in December 2015. He argues that the EU’s strategic re-orientation to coalition and bridge building after the failed Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 paved the way for its success in securing the Paris Agreement. This orientation will largely remain relevant in climate geopolitics characterized by multipolarity and a diversification of interests away from a North–South divide, both headed towards growing support for decarbonization. Various fora beyond the multilateral UN negotiations deserve systematic attention as climate governance has become “polycentric”, requiring careful prioritization as well as further enhanced coordination of climate diplomacy across the EU. The EU’s position in climate geopolitics will not least depend on the development of its internal climate and energy policy framework for 2030 and beyond. Advancing decarbonization and fostering low-carbon innovation towards the new climate economy in the EU will help enhance the EU’s power base and role in future climate geopolitics.

The article is available for download at the website of Global Affairs.