United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992). Protocols, etc., 1997 Dec. 11.
Greenhouse gases -- Law and legislation.
Global warming -- Law and legislation.
Environmental law, International.
The United States, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is not going
to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in the foreseeable future. Yet, a number of countries
have decided to stay on the Kyoto track. Four main explanations for this apparent
puzzle are considered. The first is that remaining Annex I countries still expect
the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming sufficiently to outweigh the
economic costs of implementation. The second is that the parties, by implementing
the treaty, hope to induce non-parties to follow suit at some later stage.
A third hypothesis is that EU climate institutions have generated a momentum
that has made a change of course difficult. Finally, Kyoto's persistence may be
linked to the European Union's desire to stand forth as an international leader
in the field of climate politics. We conclude that the first two explanations have
little explanatory power, but find the latter two more promising.
The essay reviews the notion of "civic science" in global environmental governance
and how it is articulated in international relations, science studies, democratic
theory and sustainability science. Civic science is used interchangeably
with participatory, citizen, stakeholder and democratic science, which are all
catch words that signify various attempts to increase public participation in the
production and use of scientific knowledge. Three rationales for civic science are
identified: restoring public trust in science, re-orienting science towards coping
with the complexity of environmental problems and installing democratic governance
of science. A central proposition is that the promotion of civic science
needs to be coupled with a theoretical understanding of its institutional, normative
and epistemological challenges. The science-politics interface needs to
be reframed to include the triangular interaction between scientific experts, policy-makers and citizens.
This article explores the linkages between the local and the global in the case of
the increasing dependence on cotton in West African economies. It argues that
West African states are too poor to engage in the wide spread extremely damaging
environmental practices the former Soviet republics or Latin American states
have followed and then suffered from. This article demonstrates that this poverty
leads to relatively minor environmental damage on the one hand and, on
the other hand, is caused to a large extent by external forces. Cotton is a key export
crop and the region is vulnerable to price fluctuations on world markets
and to domestic consequences of cotton farming such as environmental and social
problems. This article explores the structural origins and environmental
consequences of cotton farming in West Africa from a holistic perspective, thus
outlining the position of cash-crop dependent states in the global political
economy from a social and environmental perspective. Although West Africa's
subordinate role in the globalization process also means that problems arising
out of the privatization of nature are not as acute as elsewhere, the lack of opportunity
for higher-level integration perpetuates and aggravates West Africa's
position in the world, leaving little room for ecological, social and welfare improvement.
It is an ideal illustration of the classic sustainable development dilemma:
poverty means relatively low environmental damage but the way out of
poverty can only be achieved with substantial environmental sacrifices, thus
making sustainable development an oxymoron.
The role of nonstate actors in international environmental politics has been
given increased scholarly attention during the last decade. While most analyses
are focused on direct nonstate influence at the international level, one main objective
of this article is to develop a multi-level approach that allows analysis of
nonstate influence channeled via the domestic decision making level. The
point of departure for the analysis is the International Whaling Commission
(IWC) during the period from 1970 to 1990, with a particular focus on the competition
for influence characterizing the relationship between the scientific community
and the environmental and animal rights movement. The analysis
shows that domestic channels of influence may be equally, or even more important
than channels of influence linked to the international decision making
level. In the case of the IWC, for instance, the environmental and animal rights
movement succeeded in mobilizing domestic public support, particularly in the
United States, and had a key ally in the US government, Congress and Administration. The domestic role of this nonstate actor was of key importance to its
success in influencing the development of the international whaling regime.
The analysis shows, therefore, that examining the role of the domestic channel
is integral to understanding nonstate influence on international policy-making,
and particularly how some nonstate actors acquire inžuence at the expense of