As carbon emissions in the EU increase year on year, and the global temperature rises menacingly, climate change has been put to the fore of European debates in the last past years. The rise of climate-change denial in tandem with the fervid growth of euroskepticism only adds fuel to this fire. According to Adelphi, 21 right-wing populist parties across Europe categorically deny or are doubtful of the scientific consensus on that climate change is the result of human activity and industry. On the other hand, several movements have risen since 2018, including Greta Thunberg’s skolstrejk för klimatet, Extinction Rebellion, in parallel of pan-European manifestos such as the Manifeste étudiant pour un réveil écologique.
What is the role of the EU in tackling climate change and what is being done to combat it currently ? At what level is it most efficient and realistic to effect change in climate policy (local, national, European) ? How can the EU tackle the problem of climate change being an “elitist issue” as Schaller and Carius describe it ? What parallels can we draw between populist movements such as the ‘gilet jaunes’ and the rise in climate-change denial ? Finally, as the largest producer of carbon emissions in the world, what is China’s role in tackling this issue on the world stage ?