As we near the end of 2020, international climate politics remains in turbulent times. As virtually every month brings new record temperatures, other impacts of climate change are increasingly felt around the globe. The global COVID-19 crisis has challenged climate protection, but has also opened up new opportunities for “building back better”. The outcome of the US presidential elections on 3 November are set to have profound repercussions for international climate cooperation. Already before, both the EU and China have signaled their intention to significantly upgrade their climate mitigation targets for 2030 and 2050/60. These are expected to become firm international pledges at the UN Climate Summit convened by the UN Secretary General and the UK government as the incoming presidency of COP 26, the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change rescheduled to November 2021. Could, depending on the outcome of the US elections, an emerging EU-China climate alliance pave the way to a broader leadership coalition? What are the prospects of further progress across the US, China and the EU? How could a broader global dynamic towards the much delayed climate transformation be nurtured? Addressing these and other questions, the panel will reflect on the status and prospects of international climate policy and politics on the eve of the UN Climate Summit on 12 December 2020.
Lavanya Rajamani: Professor of International Environmental Law, University of Oxford,
Karsten Sach: Director General for European and International Policy, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety
Li Shuo: Senior Global Policy Advisor, Greenpeace East Asia,
Byford Tsang, Senior Policy Advisor, E3G,
Moderated by Sebastian Oberthür, Research Professor Environment & Sustainable Development at the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and University of Eastern Finland.