The And Non Binding International Environmental Policy Agreements Implemented Over The Last 40 Years

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1. There have been numerous treaties and non-binding international environmental policy agreements implemented over the last 40 years. These policies have in essence birthed all modern international environmental policy. Describe how and why it is difficult to construct effective and durable international environmental policies. Furthermore describe how veto countries influence the implementation of international environmental policy. In the international arena, it is difficult to construct effective and durable environmental policies because many agreements between nation states are held by soft law, which is non-binding law. This differs from hard laws, such as binding treaties, in that soft laws are generally considered “codes of…show more content…
al. 2014, 68). However, when these negotiations begin there are countries whose cooperation is so vital that without their support they can block binding law from ever being implemented. These are called veto countries. These countries can use this power to bargain for the outcome they prefer. For example, in the 1990 meeting for the Montreal Protocol, “China refused to join an agreement that would bind them to phase-out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 2010 until the industrialized countries agreed to provide significant financial assistance to developing countries to assist them in their transition” (Chasek et. al. 2014, 50). In other words, “veto states can prevent the creation of a strong international regime by refusing to participate in it, or they can weaken in severely by insisting on concessions” (Chasek et. al. 2014, 102). 2. The UN Environmental Programme has hosted several summits and constructed many binding and non-binding policy agreements. Describe the three main summits and outline 3 main topics of each and the outcome from these summits. Were these summits able to achieve their goals? One of the major summits discussed in this course was the Earth Summit that was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. According to the United Nations, the main topics of this summit included North-South relations, and environment and sustainable development (“UN Conference on Environment and Development” 1997). One outcome for this summit is known as the Rio Declaration,
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