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Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

9. Environment and climate  

Hayley Stevenson

This chapter begins by looking at mainstream and critical perspectives on the relationship between globalization and the environment. It shows how race and gender are implicated in the distribution of environmental harms, and how clean and safe environments in the Global North often come at the expense of communities in the Global South. A case study of green technology reveals that this asymmetry also characterizes efforts to transition to more sustainable societies. There are four key perspectives on globalization and the environment: liberal environmentalism, eco-Marxism, environmental justice, and ecofeminism. The chapter then turns to the topic of global governance to see how environmental multilateralism has developed over the past five decades, and the tensions that remain between global rules on trade and the environment.

Chapter

Cover Introducing Political Philosophy

13. Environmental Taxes and Intergenerational Justice  

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter evaluates environmental taxes as part of a set of policies to address the threats that climate change poses. These taxes increase the price of activities that are environmentally harmful. In doing so, they discourage such behaviour and raise revenue that the state can use to redress its effects. The chapter embeds these considerations in an account of intergenerational justice, arguing that the current generation has a duty to provide future generations with prospects at least equal to its own. It also examines the objection that the proposed approach allows historical emitters off of the moral hook, showing that the state can adjust environmental taxes to take account of this. Finally, the chapter explores how to amend these taxes so that they are not regressive and that they do not present undue barriers to particularly valuable activities.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

2. Ideas about environmental protection  

This chapter explores the ideas and debates which shape global environmental politics. At least three types of socially constructed ideas play a key role in international environmental governance: world views, causal beliefs, and social norms. However, ideas are not universally shared, which means that ideological clashes are a feature of global environmental governance. The chapter looks at five of the major ideological debates that have marked the evolution of global environmental governance. The first two debates present conflicting world views: the first concerns the scope of environmental values, while the second examines the intrinsic values of non-human organisms. The following two debates concern causal beliefs: one is about the relationship between human intervention and environmental protection, while the other concerns the relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation. The last debate considers different social norms related to environmental justice and the appropriate behaviours expected towards historically marginalized populations.

Chapter

Cover Issues in Political Theory

14. The Environment  

Simon Caney

This concluding chapter addresses the normative issues raised by the environment. The environment includes the earth's crust, soil, and natural resources; the atmosphere; all the earth's water; and the biosphere. Human activity has a profound impact on the environment. Indeed, many of the activities that humans engage in — activities which often serve important human interests and goals — result in environmental degradation. Persons depend on the environment in many ways: for their food, health, and for many of their goals in life. As such, humans face a problem when people impact on the environment to such an extent that it undercuts people's capacity to enjoy the standard of living to which they are entitled. Thus, a just account of the environment will take into account both the fact that people have legitimate interests which involve using the environment and the fact that there must be limits on people's environmental impacts.

Book

Cover The Politics of the Earth
This book provides an accessible introduction to environmental politics through a powerful, discourse-centred approach which analyzes how environmental affairs are constructed and interpreted through language. It recounts developments beginning with the arrival of environmental crisis in the late 1960s, which yielded dire warnings about global shortages and ecological collapse. It moves through subsequent decades to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the anti-environmental backlash of denial and “Gray Radicalism”. The book develops an innovative approach to understanding contemporary environmental discourses, covering ecological limits and planetary boundaries, pragmatic problem-solving, sustainability, ecological modernization, and green radicalism, as well as radical anti-environmentalism. It analyzes key developments in environmental affairs alongside many examples that illustrate how discourses shape past and current debates on the environment. It concludes by examining the radical implications of the Anthropocene concept.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

1. Making Sense of Earth’s Politics  

A Discourse Approach

This chapter introduces the politics of the Earth, which has featured a large and ever-growing range of concerns, such as pollution, wilderness preservation, population growth, depletion of natural resources, climate change, biodiversity loss, and destabilization of the Earth system. It explains how the issues of Earth’s politics are interlaced with a range of questions about human livelihood, social justice, public attitudes, and proper relation to one other and other entities on the planet. It also discusses the consequences of discourses for politics and policies. The chapter clarifies how environmental issues like ecological limits, nature preservation, climate change, biodiversity, rainforest protection, environmental justice, and pollution are interconnected in all kinds of ways. It develops an environmental discourse analysis approach and shows how this approach will be applied in subsequent chapters, beginning with the positioning of environmental discourses in relation to the long dominant of discourse of industrialism.

Chapter

Cover Poverty and Development

10. Environmental Degradation and Sustainability  

Kathryn Hochstetler

This chapter studies the rise of global environmental concern, identifying major events and debates as they unfolded. Much human economic activity can be described as primary commodity production or manufacturing. Each of these has a potentially negative impact on the environment. The chapter then looks at the 'environmentalism of the poor', which tends to be based on material survival needs rather than post-material values. It also summarizes two discourses on the causes of sustainability and unsustainability. The Global Environmental Management discourse looks for top-down interventions to come from states or market actors, viewing local populations as the cause of much environmental damage. The People-Centred discourse reverses the analysis, arguing that local populations are often able to achieve long-term sustainability in their communities until outside actors like states and market actors disrupt those relations.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

7. International institutions  

This chapter looks at intergovernmental organisations and international regimes. As several environmental problems have transnational implications, governments have been eager to establish international institutions to address these problems collectively. In the aftermath of the landmark 1972 Stockholm Summit on the Human Environment, states created several international institutions specifically dedicated to environmental protection. Over time, and in keeping with broader trends in global politics, these institutions have begun to interact with institutions that specialize on other topics. The chapter then tracks international environmental institutions' development and impacts over time. It also considers how international environmental institutions exhibit differing levels of autonomy, before going on to look at the interactions between international institutions, in particular the dynamics of synergy and conflict between them. Finally, the chapter studies the literature on actual or planned reforms to the institutional architecture for global environmental governance.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

17. Environmental Security  

Geoff Dabelko

This chapter discusses the concept of environmental security. It explains the way environment and climate change have both broadened and deepened the issue of security. It describes the evolution of the concept as a merger of international environmental agreements, efforts to contest the meaning and practice of security, the proliferation of new security issues in the post-Cold War era, recognition that environmental and climate changes pose grave risks to human well-being, and the growing community of research practice that seeks to build peace through natural resource management. The chapter examines the different meanings of environmental security, and then explains four major categories of environmental security problems—namely, the way environmental change can be a factor in violent conflict, the way environmental change can be a risk to national security, the way war and preparation for war can damage the environment, and the way environmental change can be a risk to human security. It explains how environmental security can mean different things to different people and can apply to vastly different referent objects in ways that sometimes have very little to do with environmental change.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

10. Trade and the environment  

This chapter explores the complex and multifaceted relationship between international trade and environmental protection. The global trade regime's normative principles, legal rules, and real-world consequences often contradict environmental governance. For example, there is tension between trade and environmental governance with respect to the commercialisation of endangered species, export of hazardous wastes, emissions involved in transporting goods, and patentability of living organisms. However, there are also synergies, which enable trade liberalisation and environmental protection to reinforce one another. For example, trade forces were key drivers in the reduction of ozone-depleting substances and the affordability of pollution abatement technologies. The chapter explores these conflicts and synergies by first discussing the literature that examines the positive and negative impacts that trade has on the environment. It goes on to look at the trade dimensions of various environmental regimes, and then environmental dimensions of the trade regime, within both the World Trade Organization and preferential trade agreements.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

9. Natural resources, security, and conflicts  

This chapter discusses the relationship between the environment and security. The concept of ‘environmental security’ is omnipresent, but is nonetheless ambiguous and contested. What exactly needs to be secured, and what are the security threats? Is environmental security about state security, faced with the loss of natural resources? Or is it about protecting individuals and communities from environmental degradation and reduced access to key environmental resources? A first step in clarifying these questions is to disentangle two related but distinct causal arguments. In the relationship between environment and security, environmental degradation can be analysed either as a cause or as a consequence of security issues. A second step needed to clarify these debates is to adopt clear definitions. In the context of international relations, security has traditionally been understood in relation to the survival of the state, and the main threats to state security are armed conflicts. For the purpose of this chapter, conflicts are defined as any type of disagreement. The chapter also examines the impact of conflicts on the environment.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

23. The Environment  

John Barry and Kerri Woods

This chapter examines the ways that environmental issues affect human rights and the relevance of human rights to environmental campaigns. It also evaluates proposals for extending human rights to cover environmental rights, rights for future generations, and rights for some non-human animals. The chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between human rights and the environment, along with the notion that all persons have ‘environmental human rights’. It then analyses the impact of the environment on human security and its implications for human rights issues before considering case studies that illustrate how environmental issues directly impact on the human rights of the so-called environmental refugees, who are displaced from lands by the threat of climate change and also by development projects. Finally, the chapter describes the link between human rights and environmental sustainability.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

18. Environment  

Madeleine Fagan

This chapter reflects on the implications of treating the environmental crisis as a security issue. It engages directly with the questions: Security for whom, where, and at whose expense? By exploring these questions, the chapter demonstrates how claims about the environment and security make visible, and securable, particular worlds while obscuring others, and rendering them insecure. It then considers three approaches to environment and security: early links between the environment and security which focused on how environmental issues impacted on the traditional concerns of security such as violent conflict, the state, and national security; the human security perspective; and the ecological security approach. Ultimately, we can see how attempts to secure the environment are connected to symbolic violence that generates other forms of political violence.

Book

Cover Poverty and Development

Edited by Tim Allen and Alan Thomas

Poverty & Development in the 21st Century provides an updated, interdisciplinary overview of one of the world's most complex and pressing social problems. The book analyses and assesses key questions faced by practitioners and policy makers, ranging from what potential solutions to world poverty are open to us to what form development should take and whether it is compatible with environmental sustainability. This third edition considers the complex causes of global poverty and inequality, introducing major development issues that include hunger, disease, the threat of authoritarian populism, the refugee crisis, and environmental degradation. Three new chapters illustrate the impact of climate, refugee and health crises on development by drawing on accounts of lived experience to explore the real-world implications of theory.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

4. Non-state actors  

This chapter focuses on non-state actors in global environmental governance. Non-state actors, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), corporations, and transnational networks, play an increasingly significant role in global environmental politics. Some of them, such as Greenpeace and Shell, became well known by communicating directly with the public or consumers. Others, such as the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education or the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, are less visible to the wider public but no less influential. The scope, diversity, preferences, methods of engagement, and contributions of non-state actors to global environmental governance are often overshadowed by a focus on state actors. The chapter sheds light on how non-state actors engage in global environmental governance and highlights how they shape the political landscape in this field.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

14. The Political Economy of the Environment  

Peter Dauvergne

This chapter assesses the global political economy of the environment. The growth of the world economy is transforming the Earth's environment. Nothing is particularly controversial about this statement. Yet, sharp disagreements arise over the nature of this transformation. Is the globalization of capitalism a force of progress and environmental solutions? Or is it a cause of the current global environmental crisis? The chapter addresses these questions by examining the debates around some of the most contentious issues at the core of economic globalization and the environment: economic growth, production, and consumption; trade; and transnational investment. It begins with a glance at the general arguments about how the global political economy affects the global environment. The chapter then traces the history of global environmentalism — in particular, the emergence of international environmental institutions with the norm of sustainable development. It also evaluates the effectiveness of North–South environmental financing and international environmental regimes.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

8. Policy instruments and effectiveness  

This chapter introduces several debates surrounding the effectiveness of global environmental governance. These debates are closely linked to the choice of policy instruments states make within international regimes. These public policy instruments include regulations, administrative standards, scientific indicators, financial targets, and accounting practices, among others. Whereas international institutions frame the general norms, principles, and rules for tackling environmental problems, instruments provide the toolbox of policy mechanisms that actors in global environmental politics use to implement those norms, principles, and rules. In some cases, the choice of instruments is made at the international level and applied in exactly the same way by a group of states. In other cases, the choice of policy instruments is left to the discretion of states, who can then choose among different alternatives to fulfil their international commitments. The chapter then explains the modalities, diffusion, and political effects of these policy instruments. Although the concept of policy instruments may appear technical and neutral, it shows how instruments can actually shape, modify, and even undermine global environmental politics.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

24. Environmental Policy  

Viviane Gravey, Andrew Jordan, and David Benson

Despite its very strong economic roots, the European Union has nonetheless become an international leader in environmental protection and sustainable development policy. Environmental concerns have consequently shifted from being a marginal aspect of the European integration process to one that routinely grabs news headlines and, unlike many other EU policy areas, generates relatively strong political support from EU citizens. In the past, these policies, which now impinge on most sectors and areas of the economy, have proven resilient to economic and deregulatory pressures. This chapter documents and explores the reasons behind the relatively rapid transformation in the EU’s governing capabilities in this policy area, explores the main dynamics of policy-making from different analytical perspectives, and explores the impact of challenges such as climate change, Brexit, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

7. Challenges to the Dominant Ideologies  

Robert Garner

This chapter examines a range of contemporary ideologies which challenge the traditional ones identified in ~Chapter 5. They differ from traditional ideologies in a number of ways. They are, first, less optimistic about the ability of ideologies to construct an overarching explanation of the world, not surprisingly since they emerged in the aftermath of the catastrophic impact of some traditional ideologies. They also respect difference and variety. This is a product of social and economic change which has eroded the ‘Fordist’ economy, brought into being a number of powerful identity groups based on gender, culture, and ethnicity, and raised question marks over the environmental sustainability of current industrial practices. Two modern political currents – postmodernism and populism – are considered and it is questioned whether they can be properly described as ideologies. The chapter then considers a number of contemporary ideologies such as feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism.

Chapter

Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

13. Environmental Policy  

Contending Dynamics of Policy Change

Andrea Lenschow

This chapter focuses on the European Union’s environmental policy, the development of which was characterized by institutional deepening and the substantial expansion of environmental issues covered by EU decisions and regulations. Environmental policy presents a host of challenges for policy-makers, including the choice of appropriate instruments, improvement of implementation performance, and better policy coordination at all levels of policy-making. The chapter points to the continuing adaptations that have been made in these areas. It first considers the historical evolution of environmental policy in the EU before discussing the main actors in EU environmental policy-making, namely: the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and environmental interest groups. The chapter also looks at the EU as an international actor.