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LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Passing through the (legal) eye of the needle Legal obstacles to EU leadership on climate change

Simonsson, Elin LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
En av vår tids största utmaningar är frågan om klimatförändringar. Mänsklig aktivitet över hela världen, från en mängd olika källor, bidrar till den globala uppvärmningen. Därför återfinns klimatlagstiftning på många olika nivåer vilket leder till regelverk som samverkar med varandra på olika plan. I detta komplexa juridiska landskap försöker Europeiska Unionen etablera ett grönt ledarskap.

Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka vilka juridiska svårigheter Europeiska Unionens ledarskap kan stöta på. Uppsatsens fokus är Förenta Nationernas Klimatkonvention, internationell sedvanerätt och non-interventionsprincipen, Most Favoured Nation och National Treatment principerna i Världshandelsorganisationsrätten och problem som kan uppstå med... (More)
En av vår tids största utmaningar är frågan om klimatförändringar. Mänsklig aktivitet över hela världen, från en mängd olika källor, bidrar till den globala uppvärmningen. Därför återfinns klimatlagstiftning på många olika nivåer vilket leder till regelverk som samverkar med varandra på olika plan. I detta komplexa juridiska landskap försöker Europeiska Unionen etablera ett grönt ledarskap.

Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka vilka juridiska svårigheter Europeiska Unionens ledarskap kan stöta på. Uppsatsens fokus är Förenta Nationernas Klimatkonvention, internationell sedvanerätt och non-interventionsprincipen, Most Favoured Nation och National Treatment principerna i Världshandelsorganisationsrätten och problem som kan uppstå med Europeiska Unionens institutionella struktur. För att undersöka de rättsliga förutsättningarna för Europeiska Unionens ledarskap måste det först klargöras vilket ledarskap Europeiska Unionen utövar.

Europeiska Unionen har vidtagit flera åtgärder för att minska sitt utsläpp av växthusgaser. Genom att visa på konkreta åtgärder vill Europeiska Unionen föregå med gott exempel. Det är också en av Europeiska Unionen uttalad ambition att inspirera andra till handling. Denna ledarskapstyp klassificeras som ’directional leadership’.

Europeiska Unionen har också vidtagit åtgärder som kan klassificeras som unilaterala. Unilaterala i den mening att de är avsedda att skapa incitament, eller tvång, för länder utanför Europeiska Unionen att ändra sitt beteende. Europeiska Unionen har inkluderat internationellt flyg i Europeiska Unionens utsläppshandelssystem, förbjudit vissa Clean Development Mechanism krediter, satt ett hållbarhetskrav på biobränslen och överväger att inkludera import av produkter vars produktion innebär höga utsläpp i Europeiska Unionens utsläppshandelssystem. Med de åtgärderna försöker sig Europeiska Unionen på en mer aggressiv ledarstil, med hjälp av piska och morot. Denna ledarskapstyp kallas för ’structural leadership’.

De två olika ledarskapsstilar som Europeiska Unionen utövar möter olika rättsliga hinder. Ett directional leadership kräver en stark och enad ledare. Europeiska Unionen, som utgörs av 27 olika medlemsstater, uppfattas inte alltid som enat och effektivt. Ett structural leadership kan få problem med Världshandelsorganisationsrätten, eftersom åtgärderna skiljer mellan produkter enbart på grund av hur de producerats, samt enbart ger fördelar till länder som har ett system som liknar Europeiska Unionens utsläppshandelssystem. Dessutom uppstår svårigheter med att respektera gemensamma men differentierade och respektive kapaciteter principen i Förenta Nationernas Klimatkonvention eftersom åtgärderna inte gör skillnad på utvecklade länder och utvecklingsländer. Ett möjligt sätt att försvara Europeiska Unionens åtgärder i Världshandelsorganisationsrätten vore om de föll under de undantag för miljöåtgärder som finns i artikel XX General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Denna avhandling konstaterar att Europeiska Unionen måste vara försiktigt när det skapar sina åtgärder för att respektera den lagstiftning som återfinns på flera olika nivåer. Det holistiska synsättet som Europeiska Unionen representerar genom att lagstifta flera olika branscher är ett bra sätt att närma sig klimatfrågan, men problematiskt sett ur ett juridiskt perspektiv. Med tanke på faran av klimatförändringar är det möjligt att Världshandelsorganisationsrätten och internationell rätt kommer att utvecklas för att ge större utrymme för klimatåtgärder. (Less)
Abstract
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Human activities all over the world from a multitude of different sectors are contributing to global warming. Therefore, climate change law exists on many different levels, creating a complex web of interacting legislation. In this multi-levelled legal landscape the European Union is attempting green leadership.

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what legal difficulties the European Union may encounter when exercising its leadership. The thesis focuses on issues with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, customary international law and the principle of non-intervention, the Most Favoured Nation and National Treatment principles in World Trade... (More)
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Human activities all over the world from a multitude of different sectors are contributing to global warming. Therefore, climate change law exists on many different levels, creating a complex web of interacting legislation. In this multi-levelled legal landscape the European Union is attempting green leadership.

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what legal difficulties the European Union may encounter when exercising its leadership. The thesis focuses on issues with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, customary international law and the principle of non-intervention, the Most Favoured Nation and National Treatment principles in World Trade Organization law and issues that might result from the European Unions institutional structure.

In order investigate the leadership, its nature must first be explored. The European Union has taken many measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. By showing concrete action the European Union wishes to lead by example. It is also the expressed ambition of the European Union to inspire others to act. This leadership type is classified as directional leadership.

However, the European Union has also taken some measures that can be classified as unilateral. Unilateral in the sense that they are intended to create incentives for, or impose, a certain behaviour of countries outside the European Union. The European Union has included aviation in the European Union Emission Trading System, banned certain Clean Development Mechanism credits, put a sustainability requirement on biofuels and is considering including imported products with high carbon emission during their production process in the European Union Emission Trading System. With these measures, the European Union is trying to take on a more aggressive leadership style, using the proverbial stick and carrot. This leadership style is called structural leadership.

These two different types of leadership that the European Union is attempting encounters different legal obstacles. A directional leadership needs a strong and united leader. The European Union, constituting of 27 different Member States, might not always be perceived as united or effective. A structural leadership might encounter problems with World Trade Organization law both because it differentiates between products based on production processes, and because it is according advantages only to countries that have a similar system to the European Union Emission Trading System. Furthermore, it could also have difficulties respecting the common but differentiated and respective capabilities principle in the United Nation Framework Convention Climate Change because of not differentiating between developed and developing countries. A possible way to justify its measures under World Trade Organization law would be to fall under the exceptions for environmental measures that can be found in article XX General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

This thesis finds that the European Union has to be cautious when creating its measures to respect the requirements that exist on different levels. The holistic approach of the European Union to legislate across sectors is a good way to approach the problem but problematic from a legal perspective. However, considering the gravity of the issue of climate change it is conceivable that World Trade Organization law and international law will develop to give greater room for climate change measures. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Simonsson, Elin LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU Law, Environmental Law, WTO Law
language
English
id
3801108
date added to LUP
2013-06-05 09:05:45
date last changed
2013-06-05 09:05:45
@misc{3801108,
  abstract     = {Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Human activities all over the world from a multitude of different sectors are contributing to global warming. Therefore, climate change law exists on many different levels, creating a complex web of interacting legislation. In this multi-levelled legal landscape the European Union is attempting green leadership.

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what legal difficulties the European Union may encounter when exercising its leadership. The thesis focuses on issues with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, customary international law and the principle of non-intervention, the Most Favoured Nation and National Treatment principles in World Trade Organization law and issues that might result from the European Unions institutional structure. 

In order investigate the leadership, its nature must first be explored. The European Union has taken many measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. By showing concrete action the European Union wishes to lead by example. It is also the expressed ambition of the European Union to inspire others to act. This leadership type is classified as directional leadership. 

However, the European Union has also taken some measures that can be classified as unilateral. Unilateral in the sense that they are intended to create incentives for, or impose, a certain behaviour of countries outside the European Union. The European Union has included aviation in the European Union Emission Trading System, banned certain Clean Development Mechanism credits, put a sustainability requirement on biofuels and is considering including imported products with high carbon emission during their production process in the European Union Emission Trading System. With these measures, the European Union is trying to take on a more aggressive leadership style, using the proverbial stick and carrot. This leadership style is called structural leadership.

These two different types of leadership that the European Union is attempting encounters different legal obstacles. A directional leadership needs a strong and united leader. The European Union, constituting of 27 different Member States, might not always be perceived as united or effective. A structural leadership might encounter problems with World Trade Organization law both because it differentiates between products based on production processes, and because it is according advantages only to countries that have a similar system to the European Union Emission Trading System. Furthermore, it could also have difficulties respecting the common but differentiated and respective capabilities principle in the United Nation Framework Convention Climate Change because of not differentiating between developed and developing countries. A possible way to justify its measures under World Trade Organization law would be to fall under the exceptions for environmental measures that can be found in article XX General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. 

This thesis finds that the European Union has to be cautious when creating its measures to respect the requirements that exist on different levels. The holistic approach of the European Union to legislate across sectors is a good way to approach the problem but problematic from a legal perspective. However, considering the gravity of the issue of climate change it is conceivable that World Trade Organization law and international law will develop to give greater room for climate change measures.},
  author       = {Simonsson, Elin},
  keyword      = {EU Law,Environmental Law,WTO Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Passing through the (legal) eye of the needle Legal obstacles to EU leadership on climate change},
  year         = {2013},
}