The end of EU climate leadership

The EU is no longer the world leader on climate policies. Other major countries have caught up or even outpaced the EU, a new study conducted by Germanwatch says. Even the U.S. and China now show at least as much headway in their climate change policies as the EU . This situation is highly problematic, as in the past EU climate action did encourage both OECD and Non-OECD countries around the world to take on more ambitious action. Returning to its role as a climate leader would, however, be beneficial for European competitiveness, according to the Germanwatch study. The EU urgently needs a more comprehensive decarbonisation approach that combines protective elements for those industry sectors really adversely affected by stricter climate regulation with a state-backed framework for an investment and innovation strategy. Such a new strategy could become the cornerstone of a sustainable economic recovery in the EU. The Germanwatch study counters arguments brought forward by industry lobby organisations in Germany and other EU countries that the EU is too much of a climate leader and that other big emitter countries have not followed its lead.