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Climate Conundrums at High Altitude. EU Diplomacy Paper 01/2014, January 2014

Haßlinger, Georg (2014) Climate Conundrums at High Altitude. EU Diplomacy Paper 01/2014, January 2014. [Working Paper]

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    The European Union (EU) was the frontrunner for the establishment of the world’s first multinational emissions trading scheme (ETS). Committed to combating climate change, the EU sought to overcome the multilateral paralysis within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to mitigate aviation emissions. Unsuccessful in pushing for a global market-based measure (MBM) within the organisation, the EU was ready for take-off to include the sector in the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). The geographical scope, however, including all flights from and to Europe in their entire trajectory, caused frictions with the international community about sovereignty issues. Ultimately, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard announced a ‘stop-the-clock’ for international flights, a temporary derogation until the 2013 ICAO Assembly in order to find a global agreement. The ’stop-the-clock’ initiative provides ample opportunity to analyse EU leadership in curbing aviation emissions based on an analytical framework specifying different types of leadership. Its shows the global challenge to the EU’s claim of structural leadership on various levels in and beyond ICAO. The paper aims to analyse to what extent the EU is a global leader in mitigating aviation emissions and to identify the kind of EU leadership according to a threefold analytical framework. In addition, it will factor in the 'stop-the-clock' initiative and to what extent it altered the perception of EU leadership in the field. The paper comes to the conclusion that EU leadership in mitigating aviation emissions is not stalling. On the contrary, the EU, by pursuing the extension of the EU ETS, has put aviation emissions on everybody’s radar – and thus showed idea-based leadership. Proving the scheme’s feasibility further underlined EU leadership, in the form of directional leadership. The 'stop-the-clock' decision, however, already indicated what was later on confirmed in the 38th ICAO Assembly: Unilateral structural leadership of the EU in the field of aviation emissions is not credible at the moment.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > environmental policy (including international arena)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > EU Diplomacy Paper
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2014 12:41
    Number of Pages: 48
    Last Modified: 02 Apr 2015 12:19

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