TWQ: The Transatlantic Climate Change Challenge - Winter 2008
January 1, 2008
The U.S.-European relationship has evolved into a partnership that stretches well beyond the Atlantic area to address global challenges such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, radical extremism, the rise of China, global poverty, and health issues. Climate change is becoming a part of that list as well, although this phenomenon is fairly new. The difficulty in forging transatlantic cooperation on this issue is that Europe and the United States are addressing it at different speeds and in different ways.
Europe is often portrayed as the global leader that has placed its faith in national and international regulation. By contrast, the United States has assumed the image of the global laggard unwilling to make sacrifices and much more interested in supporting technological solutions than regulatory ones. Although elements of these stereotypes ring true, the transatlantic landscape on this issue is changing, with an increasing recognition on both sides of the Atlantic that cooperation in this area is possible and critical. The question is, can it come together quickly enough to help forge a framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol before the agreement expires in 2012?