Climate change policy in the European Union: Confronting the dilemmas of mitigation and adaptation?
Article first published online: 16 AUG 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 92, Issue 33, page 277, 16 August 2011
How to Cite
2011), Climate change policy in the European Union: Confronting the dilemmas of mitigation and adaptation?,Eos Trans. AGU, 92(33),277., (
- Issue published online: 16 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 16 AUG 2011
- Cited By
- book review;
- climate change;
- European Union;
 There is no doubt that climate change presents an exquisite dilemma to global society and our systems of governance. Either we accept our collective responsibility and adapt our energy systems, or our societies and many critical ecosystems may be swept away by climate extremes, food crises, and, eventually, rising seas. The European Union (EU) has emerged in a leading role in the international struggle to govern climate change. Climate change is an accepted part of the political agenda in the EU, so agreement on targets has been relatively easy compared to the actual implementation of policies to reduce emissions. This book addresses in a historical context, from the late 1980s to 2010, the challenges that climate change policy has presented to the EU and how policy has been developed. The risks posed by climate change have been known for several decades. The evolution of climate change policy in the EU has occurred in parallel with extensive expansion of the EU itself, which grew from 9 member countries in the 1980s to its present 27. The EU is a relatively large emitter of greenhouse gases, and with 27 countries, it represents a microcosm of the global community, albeit with a unique form of governance.