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Harro van Asselt, Michael Mehling


Does the European Union still matter when it comes to mitigating global climate change? While this question may appear overly dramatized, observers of the international climate change debate have started to wonder whether the EU is still able to influence the course of negotiations on a post-2012 climate regime. Contrary to a wide misperception, the EU did have a seat at the table when the Copenhagen Accord was being drafted in December 2009. Yet the final agreement is seen primarily as a deal brokered between the United States and China. On crucial issues, the Accord does not reflect the official negotiating stance of the EU. Among many other elements, it does not provide an indication of how – let alone when – to arrive at a legally binding agreement, nor does it set out specific levels of greenhouse gas emissions that major emitters should achieve in coming years.


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