The EU and the Progressive Alliance Negotiating in Durban: Saving the Climate?
"This paper has discussed international climate change, and in particular the UN Durban Climate Summit held in December 2011, from an international relations perspective and by drawing on the literature on negotiations and EU foreign policy. It illustrates the contribution of the alliance between the EU, the LDCs, AOSIS and a number of other progressive countries to securing a deal on future negotiations on climate change. The alliance guaranteed entry into the inner circles of the negotiations for the EU and helped ensure it was not isolated. In turn, this helped put pressure on the US and the emerging economies, which one by one were pressurised into shifting position, India being the last. In order to achieve this, the EU had to consent to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. According to some, this was not a great sacrifice, as the EU already had a firm emission reduction policy in place for the period until 2020, and it would look awkward if it abandoned an agreement whose survival it had fought for so fiercely. Yet others point to the costs of a second commitment period and to the EU being its principal signatory, with other big emitters not participating or being exempted."