There is no shortage of would-be leaders in EU climate change politics. The EU institutions (e.g. European Council, Council of the EU, Commission and the European Parliament (EP)), member states and societal actors have all, though to varying degrees and at different time periods, tried to offer leadership in EU and international climate change politics. Importantly, public support for EU environmental policy in general, and climate change policy in particular, has been consistently high (e.g. Eurobarometer 2015). The economic recession which followed the 2008 financial crises triggered only a moderate drop in public support for EU action on climate change, although considerable variation exists between member states.
Connelly, J., Wurzel, R. K., & Liefferink, D. (2016). Introduction: European Union climate leadership. In The European Union in International Climate Change Politics: Still Taking a Lead? (3-19). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315627199