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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 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 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 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 Global Environmental Politics

Introduction  

This introductory chapter presents global environmental politics as an important area of international and transnational cooperation and as a distinct field of study. First, as an area of cooperation, global environmental politics emerged out of the need to work together internationally and transnationally to address some pressing environmental problems, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the rapid reduction of global fish stocks. Independent state action at the local and national levels is not sufficient to address global environmental issues: these issues require cooperation through global governance. Second, as a field of study, global environmental politics investigates the various dimensions of emerging actions on global environmental issues. It is a diverse field of study from both theoretical and disciplinary perspectives.

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 The Politics of International Law

6. Global environmental governance and climate change  

This chapter focuses on the intersection of law and politics in global environmental governance. A key characteristic of global environmental governance is its fragmentation. The regulatory landscape is populated by a variety of hard and soft law regimes, institutions, processes, and actors, which address particular environmental challenges, or address them in particular ways. Yet there are core principles that are common to many of these regimes, including the precautionary principle, the prevention principle, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and the concept of sustainable development. The chapter then turns to an in-depth analysis of global climate change governance. It traces the evolution of climate change governance from the creation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994 to the present, focusing on the major legal-institutional milestones of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. Finally, the chapter returns to the problem of fragmentation, considering recent attempts to bring greater unity and coherence to global environmental governance.

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 International Relations and the European Union

10. The Challenge of the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change  

John Vogler

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) external environmental policy, with particular emphasis on the challenge faced by the EU in exercising leadership in global environmental governance and in the development of the climate change regime. It first considers the international dimension of the EU environmental policy as well as the issue of sustainable development before discussing the EU’s efforts to lead the negotiation of an international climate regime up until the 2015 Paris conference. It then explores how the different energy interests of the member states have been accommodated in order to sustain European credibility. It also looks at the question of climate and energy security in the EU and concludes with an assessment of the factors that determine the success or failure of the EU in climate diplomacy, including those that relate to coordination and competence problems peculiar to the EU as a climate negotiator.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

12. The Challenge of the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change  

John Vogler

This chapter examines the European Union's external environmental policy, with particular emphasis on the challenge faced by the EU in exercising leadership in global environmental governance and in the development of the climate change regime. It first considers the international dimension of the EU environmental policy as well as the issue of sustainable development before discussing the EU's efforts to lead the negotiation of an international climate regime up until the 2015 Paris conference. It then explores how the different energy interests of the member states have been accommodated in order to sustain European credibility. It also looks at the question of climate and energy security in the EU and concludes with an assessment of the factors that determine the success or failure of the EU in climate diplomacy, including those that relate to coordination and competence problems peculiar to the EU as a climate negotiator.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

1. Interconnections between science and politics  

This chapter discusses the complex and multifaceted relationship between science and politics. Although science and politics each follow a distinct logic and pursue distinct objectives, they are inextricably connected to one another. On the one hand, science influences political debates, by drawing attention to certain problems and providing necessary justifications for political action. On the other hand, political dynamics, including political values and power relations, structure the conduct of science. The chapter highlights the different aspects of the co-production of science and politics, in the framework of international environmental debates. An increasing number of studies on global environmental governance suggest that science and politics are co-produced. As they shape each other, it is impossible to understand one without considering the other. Political interactions are partly based on available knowledge, and scientific production is a social practice that is conditioned by its political context.