The UK and emerging countries in the climate regime: whither leadership?

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This paper discusses the UK’s climate diplomacy towards emerging countries. The UK as an established power and as a member of the European Union appears keen to play a leadership role in climate cooperation, both within the EU and at the multilateral level. However, as in other areas of international politics, emerging countries are becoming increasingly important players for dealing with climate change. In this sense leadership on the part of the UK would require some constructive engagement of these countries. The paper looks at how the UK engages emerging countries, both on its own and in coordination with its EU partners. It addresses both multilateral and bilateral diplomacy efforts. It argues that although the UK is making an effort to engage emerging countries, these are still at an early stage, and they also suffer from a lack of resources and strategic direction. Some policy diffusion is observed in relation to China, but this has not translated to the convergence of positions in climate negotiations. It concludes that the possibility of influence is constrained by limited resources and the degree of coincidence of interests between the UK/EU and emerging countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-462
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal Society
Issue number3
Early online date20 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • climate diplomacy
  • United Kingdom
  • European Union
  • emerging countries


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