EU, Climate Change and Global Governance

Europa Institute Seminar Series

The EU, Climate Change and Global Environmental Governance

This series of three seminars was organised by Chad Damro (School of Social and Political Science), Elizabeth Bomberg (School of Social and Political Science) and Navraj Singh Ghaleigh (Edinburgh Law School) at the University of Edinburgh throughout 2009. The seminar series was made possible by financial support from the Europa Institute.

Seminar 1 – 13 March 2009

Climate Change and the New Transatlantic Relationship

The EU needs to consider seriously the possibility of a change in US climate change policy following the US presidential election of November 2008. Ongoing international negotiations over a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol provide the opportunity for a possible transatlantic compromise on climate change. This seminar brings together scholars to explore the prospects of transatlantic climate change cooperation under a new US administration and a possible post-Kyoto agreement.


Dr Elizabeth Bomberg (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Chad Damro (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Sebastian Oberthür (Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Prof John Vogler (University of Keele)
Dr Anthony Zito (University of Newcastle)

Public Lecture

Dr Anthony Zito (University of Newcastle)
Environmental Agencies as Agents of Multi-Level Governance and Learning
David Hume Tower, Faculty Room North · 13 March 2009 | 2-4pm

Seminar 2 – 1 May 2009

Climate Change and Inter-Governmental Relations

This seminar explores the unique multi-level dynamics of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Addressing climate change requires sustained interaction and cooperation between levels of governance (local/national/supranational). But it also raises thorny constitutional issues in terms of legal competence and responsibility. This seminar considers this dynamic in comparative transatlantic perspective. It brings together experts and practitioners on environmental intergovernmental relations in the EU and US, with particular emphasis on the role of US states, German Länder and the Scotland-UK-EU dynamic.


Dr Elizabeth Bomberg (University of Edinburgh)
Climate Change and Inter-Governmental Relations in Transatlantic Perspective: Key Themes

Miranda Schreurs (Free University Berlin)
Top Down, Bottom Up, and Horizontal Linkages in Climate Change Policy Making: Transatlantic Perspectives

Dr Wilfried Swenden, Dr Nicola McEwen and Dr Elizabeth Bomberg (University of Edinburgh)
Intergovernmental Politics and Climate Change: Scotland, UK, EU

Duncan McLaren (Friends of the Earth Scotland)
Philip Wright (Deputy Director, and Head of Climate Change Division, Scottish Government)
Prof Barry Rabe (Brookings Institution and University of Michigan)

This seminar was also supported by UACES.

Seminar 3 – 13 November 2009

Climate Change in the Courts – Emerging Patterns

Climate change litigation, and its academic literature, has to date focused on the means by which extant legal tools can deliver environmental justice, however defined. In various fora, different legal instruments have been deployed to address the climate change problematic. Whether at the sub-, supra-, or national level, there has been an anxious search for causes of action to hold governments and other social actors to account for not adequately addressing their 'climate change responsibilities'. To this narrative may be added an emerging category of legal challenges whereby the complex regulatory structures constituting, surrounding and supporting legal responses to climate change are finding themselves subjected to scrutiny in courts and tribunals. The litigation before the European Court of Justice concerning the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme – overwhelming the world's largest carbon market – is emblematic of such attempts to limit regulation. In such cases, litigation may be thought of as subversive to, rather than supportive of, the ambitions of the UNFCCC and its progeny. As mechanisms to address climate change emerge in myriad polities, such litigation assumes ever greater importance.

The purpose of this seminar is to examine such issues and develop a set of tools with which the patterns of climate change litigation can be understood. Such inquiries might include, but need not be limited to the:

    - evolving categorisations of claims that are finding their ways into courts and tribunals
    - relationship between national, supranational and international law
    - claims of judicial globalisation
    - dialogical character of the litigation process
    - roles that litigation serves, and its efficacy as a regulatory tool


Dr Abbe Brown (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Hari Osofsky (Washington and Lee University)
Kate Miles (University of Sydney)
Dr Ole Pedersen (University of Newcastle)
Prof David Scholsberg (Northern Arizona University)
Anatole Boute (Groningen Centre of Energy Law)
Jolene Lin (University of Hong Kong)
Navraj Singh Ghaleigh (University of Edinburgh)