The EU has been a forerunner in climate and environmental policy worldwide. They have been very ambitious, especially at the time of the Copenhagen climate negotiations (COP15 in 2009). During COP15, the first phase of the Kyoto protocol was already started (first phase: 2008-2012, second phase: 2013-2020) and governments aimed to negotiate a new protocol for the future.
During the conference in 2009, the EU felt quiet some resistance from other major powers in the world, namely China and the USA. In climate negotiations, the EU has limited power, because it counts for ‘only’ 10% of global Greenhouse gas emissions. China and the USA each produce 20% of the global emissions.
In order to speak with a strong voice, the EU, small island states and developing countries formed a coalition, informally called the Cartagena Dialogue. In the run up towards the 21st conference in Paris in 2015 (COP21), when countries have planned to create a second protocol, it will become clear if the coalition will be powerful enough. They need to pave the way towards high enough targets, which will effectively combat climate change and avoid irreversible loss and damage.
Currently, the Cartagena Dialogue membership includes 41 countries + the European Commission: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Burundi, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, European Commission, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Samoa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, and the UK.