The Geopolitics of Decarbonisation: Re-shaping European Foreign Relations

Friday 03 July 2020, 14:00 to 15:30

The European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen has committed to accelerating decarbonisation in Europe as a major priority. The European Green Deal aims to reach the objective of climate neutrality by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global temperatures as close as possible to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era. This also needs to be adequately reflected in European external relations. To what extent and how will the EU’s and global decarbonization patterns impact the EU’s external relations with suppliers of fossil fuels? How should the EU’s foreign relations be shaped to exploit the opportunities and address the vulnerabilities stemming from deep decarbonization? A new study from Adelphi and the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, supported by the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, inquires the impact of decarbonization on six suppliers of fossil fuels, exploring the consequences for the EU’s foreign policy with a view to providing recommendations to the EU, including the incoming German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


14:00 – 14:05: Introductory remarks by Sebastian Oberthür, Professor for Environment and Sustainable Development, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Moderator)

14:05 – 14:25: Presentation of the IES-Adelphi study “The Geopolitics of decarbonization: re-shaping European and foreign relations” by Dennis Tänzler, Director for International Climate Policy, Adelphi

14:25 – 15:00: Discussion with Caroline Kuzemko, Associate Professor in International Political Economy, University of Warwick and Marc Vanheukelen, EU Ambassador at large for Climate Diplomacy

15:00 – 15:30: Q&A