The EU and UK have adopted ambitious targets for emissions reductions, part of an overall strategy aimed at achieving a comprehensive, legally binding and effective global agreement, through a combination of intensive diplomatic efforts with strong “leadership by example”. However, major global players, including crucially China and the USA, have been largely unmoved by the EU’s commitments. European policy-makers must therefore now come to terms with the reality of the failure of international negotiations, and the fact that EU leadership has proven much less effective than had been hoped. It is now time to develop a “Plan B” Climate Policy.
This paper therefore proposes high level changes in UK and EU policy, with the aim of developing a “Plan B” Climate Policy that would better reflect the new and potentially dangerous circumstances we find ourselves in. These “Plan B” changes fall into two categories: (1) continued efforts to promote mitigation, but with a focus on lowering the costs at global level; and (2) a range of measures aimed at preparation for a warmer world.