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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

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.