Modern societies face many global challenges. Climate change is certainly among the most urgent and important ones. Europe has decided to address the widely diffused concern of public opinion on the effects of climate change by committing to reaching climate neutrality by 2050, an ambitious target that remains a top priority for the Von der Leyen Commission despite the difficulties raised by the COVID-19 crisis. Similar climate neutrality targets have been recently set by other jurisdictions, most notably the USA and China (the latter by 2060). The European Union can (and actually intends) to play a key leading role as regulator, negotiator and actor in the global climate challenge. While a unilateral European action will not be sufficient per se to stop global warming (as European emissions are only a relatively small part of total greenhouse gas emissions), the EU can lead the world by example in adopting more stringent climate regulations and hence influencing the others’ climate policies.

However, alternative climate policies and regulatory models might emerge at the world level possibly challenging the European leadership in the fight against climate change. Consider, for instance, the case of the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS). As it is frequently argued, the EU ETS represented a prototype for most other ETSs that have been rapidly emerging in the world. But ETSs might progressively diverge over time rather than converge towards a unique model to account for the different institutional frameworks characterising different jurisdictions. The same applies to other European climate measures and policies that might or might not fit other institutional contexts.

This raises some of the questions that will be addressed in the session, namely:

  1. What are the lessons that other jurisdictions can take from the European climate policy experience? Can/should the European experience with climate regulation be replicated in non-European contexts? If so, how? If not, why?
  2. How can other economies improve upon the European experience and how can Europe learn from others?
  3. Will the climate neutrality implementation strategies converge or diverge across different countries?
  4. Which policies will lead EU, US and China -the three main players in the global climate arena- towards the net-zero emissions target?
  5. What will be the impact of the Biden administration on international cooperation and climate policy in the years to come?
  6. Can international cooperation among Emission Trading Systems contribute to promoting a global climate policy?

EAERE Policy Outreach Committee together with FSR Climate  and in collaboration with the School of Transnational Governance of the EUI, organise this session to promote a more integrated dialogue between academia and policy world, providing advice and support to EU policy makers and institutions in designing policy interventions.

The event builds upon the successful experience of policy debates organized by FSR Climate at State of the Union since 2018 and intends to continue the policy dialogue carried out by FSR Climate under the ongoing LIFE DICET (Deepening International Cooperation on Emissions Trading) project. The project LIFE DICET focuses on the international carbon market cooperation between the EC and the regulators of other major ETSs, namely, California-Quebec, China, Switzerland and New Zealand and intends to support EU and Member State policymakers in deepening international cooperation for the development and possible integration of carbon markets at the world level.

The event chaired by Simone Borghesi (EAERE POC Secretary General) and Jos Delbeke (EAERE POC Chairman) is intended to address an audience of high-level policy makers, stakeholders and scholars such as those attending the SoU.