The European Union (EU) is facing a critical period as the European Commission draws up a 2050 climate strategy roadmap that is likely to form the basis for the EU’s next nationally determined contribution to the COP21 Paris Agreement. Until recently, the UK was the undisputed leader of the coalition of EU member states (the Green Growth Group) seeking more ambitious climate targets. Brexit, however, is likely to put an end to the UK-driven focus on market instruments to achieve climate targets. Instead, the Commission is now likely to turn to policies prioritizing emissions and energy targets.
- The United Kingdom (UK) exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) is likely to strengthen the resolve of the EU to maintain global leadership at the Conference of Parties (COP).
- Brexit is likely to contribute a changed approach toward climate policy from a focus on market instruments to policy targets.
A struggle has emerged for leadership within the Green Growth Group, with many coalition members seeking more ambitious climate targets.
- Despite some changes in governments, the national climate position of EU member states remains stable.
- Poland, perhaps supported by other coal-dependent countries, is likely to remain an obstacle to more ambitious EU climate targets.