The Role of the European Union’s Law in the International Climate Change Regime

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The European Union (EU) is seeking to protect the environment while encouraging third countries to do so as well. For this reason, the EU has to lead by example and give priority to specific environmental policies over trade issues. In the same time, the union has to protect its economic interests worldwide by providing financial and legal incentives for the development of the different European economic sectors. This reality gets more complicated in the context of climate change where there is a sense of urgency for enacting global norms to combat global warming. To that end, the EU has enacted extremely sophisticated climate change legislations highlighting the seriousness of this issue and its ambition to be seen as a global leader in the climate change field. This paper seeks to examine the interaction between European laws and international climate change norms. As such, it will reveal how the interplay between both legal orders resulted in the evolution of the international and European climate change regulations simultaneously. It also seeks to disclose the impact of the Union’s bilateral and unilateral climate change actions on the advancement of the global norms as well as the development of domestic climate change legislations in third countries.

Keywords: European Union; Climate change; Environment; Economic Interests

Imad Ibrahim | Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy

Imad Ibrahim is a PhD Candidate in Law at the Institute of Law, Politics and Development (DIRPOLIS), Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy; Research Associate at Global Law Initiative for Sustainable Development (gLAWcal), Essex, United Kingdom; Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Institute of Water Security and Science (IWSS), West Virginia University, United States; EU Commission Marie Curie Fellow at Tsinghua University School of Law, THCEREL—Center for Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Law in Beijing (China), and at the CRAES—Chinese Research Academy on Environmental Sciences in Beijing (China) and Energy policy expert at the Lebanese Oil & Gas Initiative – LOGI, Beirut, Lebanon.