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Sunday, January 17, 2010
Inside Europe - E.U. Seeks to Regain Influence on Response to Climate Change - NYTimes.com
"BRUSSELS — Stunned by having been sidelined in the endgame of the Copenhagen world climate summit meeting, the European Union is debating how to regain influence in the fight against global warming. Should the E.U., the world’s largest trading bloc and economic area, respond to the policy setback and the diplomatic humiliation of the bare-minimum Copenhagen accord by playing Mr. Nice, Mr. Nasty, Mr. Persistent or Mr. Pragmatic? The first two options — setting a more ambitious example to others, or threatening climate laggards with carbon tariffs — are tempting gestures, and each has its supporters. But when the dust settles, the 27 E.U. governments are likely to stick to their carbon-emissions reduction strategy while becoming more pragmatic about working outside the United Nations framework to achieve progress, experts say. The E.U. went to the U.N. negotiations in Copenhagen last month seeking a legally binding agreement to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for increasingly warming the planet, with precise reduction targets that would have been subject to international monitoring and enforcement. Despite warning signs that their goals were unrealistic, the Europeans hoped to convert the rest of the world to their own model of supranational governance."