Mace, M.J., Osses, F., Wangmo, T. (2023): EU’s role in the world: how can EU climate diplomacy stimulate greater ambition? Discussion Paper of the 4i-TRACTION Deliverable D3.7. Climate Analytics. Berlin.
EU’s role in the world: how can EU climate diplomacy stimulate greater ambition?
This discussion paper considers whether the EU is exhibiting sufficient climate leadership through its global narrative and climate ambition and explores avenues for the EU to stimulate greater global ambition both inside and outside the UNFCCC framework.
The EU can impact global ambition under the bottom-up Paris Agreement in two ways: (i) leading by action and by example, through its own headline ambition and its buttressing policies and measures; and (ii) through international engagement and diplomacy – actively encouraging and enabling efforts by its partners to reduce emissions, adapt to climate impacts, and address loss and damage, recognising their respective capabilities.
With respect to leading by example, the EU could be said to be exhibiting climate leadership if it supports a global narrative that is consistent with what best available science and equity demands, and if it supports this narrative with a level of ambition that is also consistent with the scale of effort and ambition that science and equity demand. This paper considers whether the EU’s own narrative and the scale and pace of its ambition on mitigation, adaptation and support to developing countries under the UNFCCC framework is commensurate with the scale of the challenge. It concludes that there is room for improvement in each of these areas and identifies opportunities for the EU to stimulate greater global ambition through its own actions.
The paper then turns to opportunities for the EU and its member states to stimulate greater global ambition through international engagement and diplomacy. These include: using the UNFCCC process and the annual cycle of high level meetings that influence the Conference of the Parties’ (COP) outcomes for ambitious messaging; accelerating action under other multilateral treaty processes that impact greenhouse gas emissions; setting EU standards to drive financial flows inside and outside EU borders to Paris-aligned activities; supporting initiatives and partnerships that drive action in sectors that are not yet Paris-aligned; partnering with individual developing countries to provide direct technical and financial support for enhanced mitigation and adaptation ambition; supporting programmatic approaches that assist high-emitting countries and vulnerable countries in fulfilling their own just transition plans; and supporting accountability tools.