The European Union (EU) has come a long way in establishing its presence in global environmental law and policy since 1972 when the first Environmental Action Programme was adopted. The EU environmental policy is one of the most successful Union policies both on domestic and international levels. However, the EU’s leadership in shaping global environmental agenda emerged only recently, marking different periods where there was no leadership presence. EU environmental law and policy is subject to institutional and legal complexities both internally and externally. In facing these complexities, the question arises on how the EU developed into a prominent player in global climate change negotiations, and how the unique qualities of the EU have played out in its favor?
This Article aims at analyzing the EU’s leadership in global environmental policy and law through the case of climate change. This Article argues that the EU’s leadership could be understood by tracing legal, institutional and policy developments both internally and externally. The Article also provides a preliminary investigation into the EU as a model for international climate change protection..