Strengthening the European Union’s climate change diplomacy was the focus of an innovative workshop which brought together key stakeholders at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in Brussels on 1 June. The workshop was hosted by FEPS in partnership with the Transnational Law Institute (TLI) of the Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London, and Fondation Jean-Jaurès.
The European Union has long played a leadership role in the global response to climate change and the challenge of increasing access to sustainable energy. The EU’s reputation as a leader has proved a significant asset in the EU’s intergovernmental and people-to-people diplomacy. To maintain and extend this diplomatic asset, the EU faces at least three challenging developments: 1. The diffusion of relevant intergovernmental coordination into multiple negotiating tracks and processes; 2. The growing relative importance of non-EU sources of finance, technology and expertise, especially from large and higher-income emerging market countries; and 3. The centrality of technology in contemporary global interventions to deal with climate change and promote sustainable energy.
Technology is vital to the challenge of tackling climate change. The EU has a major opportunity to strengthen its contribution in this field in the post-Paris conference implementation phase. This workshop brought together a diverse group of creative thinkers from critical institutions to examine how the EU can do just that, working through the norms, the institutional architecture and the networks that drive positive change. Participants heard from presenters from the European Commission, the Party of European Socialists, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the French presidency of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties, the UN's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and other stakeholders. The workshop was held under the Chatham House rule.