March 13 ENV222 lecture format.doc.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Kenneth Mac Donald

ENV222 March 13, 2012 State – international Lecture format 1. Global environmental problems . truly global – resource extraction or pollution outside the jurisdiction of any state: reader p. 357 high seas, Antarctica, outer space, global atmosphere\ . regional – involving a number of states, eg pollution in the Mediterranean, Great Lakes (Canada and US), acid rain in Europe, North America or Asia . local-cumulative – problem located inside state boundaries, but occurring many places, eg deforestation 2. Global environmental governance (GEG) . GEG consists of attempts to co-ordinate the activities of states, even though there is no global government . “regime” is collection of rules and organizations addressing a given issue . more generally, GEG consists of: . multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), eg Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC . international governmental organizations (IGOs), eg UNEP . periodic environmental conferences, eg 1972 Stockholm, 1992 Rio . norms and paradigms such as precautionary principle (p. 356) and sustainable development . states are central actors in GEG since the MEA is an agreement amongst states and since it is states which implement the MEA by domestic law and policy within their borders . but ENGOs, firms and others are also active in GEG . because of state sovereignty (countries do not have to participate), the MEA can only be negotiated by consensual decision-making, which means all states have potential veto power, by threatening to leave, which leads to lowest-common-denominator results and weak standards 3. The problem of state sovereignty . the state has replaced the kingdom and empire as the means of organizing political activity . state is defined as the body with a monopoly on legitimate use of coercive force . the state only operates within its borders, ie a defined geographic space . a powerful norm decrees the state is sovereign within its borders but by and large cannot legitimately exercise coercive force outside its borders . the firm, however, is not bound by geographic borders and now operates on a global scale . thus the market has globalized but government, by states, has not . nevertheless states resist external influence, which means they have an inherent tendency to resist GEG (and other forms of global governance by the UN or WTO) 4. The problem of the North-South divide . basic problem is that developed (North) and developing (South) worlds are pursuing very different objectives . North, to at least some extent, has been concerned with regional and global environmental problems since 1960s 1 . South, on the other hand, is concerned with poverty and with local (eg potable water) environmental problems . this was addressed at the 1972 Stockholm Conference (p. 356) by Principle 21 of the resolution, saying in a somewhat contradictory manner that states are free to exploit their own resources and also have a responsibility not to pollute other states; thus issues of environment and poverty were linked . that link was then fully recognized by the 1987 Brundtland Commission paradigm of sustainable development, which included the concept of global equity . the need for financial assistance from the North to assist the South in addressing environmenta
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