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The Emergence Of Global Environmental Politics. Takes Place In A Context Of National Sovereignty. Nation states can do as they wish within their own boundaries This means that addressing international environmental problems requires negotiations among sovereign states International law

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takes place in a context of national sovereignty
Takes Place In A Context Of National Sovereignty
  • Nation states can do as they wish within their own boundaries
  • This means that addressing international environmental problems requires negotiations among sovereign states
    • International law
    • Institution building (agreements, treaties conventions, regimes)
  • Early developments
    • Regional
      • Great Lakes (Boundary Waters Treaty & the International Joint Commission – IJC)
      • Early 1900s
    • Global
      • Post-WWII
      • Whaling (International Whaling Commission - IWC)
  • Important recent milestones
    • Stockholm Conference
    • United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
stockholm conference 1972
Stockholm Conference (1972)
  • First major UN meeting on the global environment
    • Declaration of Principles
    • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Follow-up conferences on many topics (population, food, desertification)
  • North - South debate
united nations conference on environment and development 1992 unced
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992 (UNCED)
  • AKA the “Earth Summit” and the “Rio Conference”
  • Brundtland Commission’s report “Our Common Future (1987),” which addresses developing nations’ concerns was influential
  • Sustainable development
  • Treaties on climate change & biodiversity
  • Agenda 21 - principles & action plan
why the recent interest
Why The Recent Interest?
  • International & global environmental problems
  • Post-Cold War international politics
    • Shift away from security focus
    • North-South issues
    • Quality of life issues
  • Paradigm shift
paradigm shift
Paradigm Shift
  • Paradigm: a fundamental set of attitudes, beliefs, assumptions that colors a society’s way of thinking
  • Some observers argue that a change is occurring
dominant exclusionist paradigm
Dominant (Exclusionist) Paradigm
  • Sees nature as existing to be exploited by humans
  • Market driven
  • Risk-seeking (or at least not risk-averse)
  • Sees no limits to growth
  • Rooted in western empiricism & technology
  • Rooted in Christianity
alternative sustainable development paradigm
Alternative (Sustainable Development) Paradigm
  • Sees nature as valuable in its own right
  • Humans to live in balance with nature
  • Concerned with the degradation of environmental services
  • Risk-averse
  • Sees limits to growth, seeks environmental accounting and sustainable development
  • Rooted in nonwestern, non-Christian attitudes
paradigm shift another view
Paradigm Shift, Another View
  • Is there evidence to support claims that it is really occurring?
    • Cross-national surveys
    • Reports by international commissions
regimes not alliances
Regimes, Not Alliances
  • Multilateral (i.e. several nations) agreements
  • Establishing sets of rules (or of behavioral norms)
  • Regulating the participating nations’ behavior
  • On specific (sets of) issues
  • In environment, most are based upon formal agreements (conventions, protocols, etc.)
how why do they work
How & Why Do They Work?
  • There are several traditional models (Chasek, Downie & Brown, p. 27 - 30), but they do not seem to work well (with the partial exception of the epistemic community model) in explaining international environmental regimes
  • Nonetheless, regimes are very significant in the development & implementation of international environmental policy
some examples
Some Examples
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
  • Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer & The Montreal Protocol
  • See Chasek, Downie & Brown, pgs. 24 – 27 for many more
  • What?
    • Multiparty treaties
    • Aimed at establishing cooperation in responding to a specific issue or set of issues
    • May be joined by additional nations after having been adopted
conventions cont
Conventions, cont.
  • Terms
    • Signatories - The nations which have signed the treaty
    • Parties - The nations which have signed & ratified the agreement (i.e. are full participants in the agreement)
    • Secretariat ‑‑ The administrative body which is responsible for implementing the agreement (may be UN body, e.g. UNEP, or free standing, e.g. IJC)
conventions cont1
Conventions, cont.
  • Types
    • Simple conventions (self contained)
    • Framework conventions
      • Establish basic procedures, or “rules of the game” for dealing with a problem
      • Frequently provide for a regular Conference of Parties (COP)
    • Protocols: Follow up agreements which deal with substance
      • e.g. Vienna Convention on Ozone (1985) & Montreal Protocol (1987 & 1990)
soft law
“Soft Law”
  • Nonbinding agreements
  • Intended to influence nations’ behavior
  • No formal enforcement, but they can be influential
  • e.g. Agenda 21 (from Rio Conference)
environmental treaties
Environmental Treaties
  • Environmental treaties are negotiated on an ad hoc basis
    • Participants are self-selected
    • One nation, one vote
  • NGOs do not vote, but
    • They often spur their governments into participating
    • They may have key implementation roles
      • Direct
      • Monitoring, resource gathering, nagging, whistle blowing
  • Treaties with global implications may be negotiated by a minority of nations
  • Treaty negotiations may not include key nations
  • Who is bound by the treaty?