b. Environment .docx

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Political Science

I. Introduction o Perceived important and dramatically increased significance over the decade – end of the Cold War opened the view o Increase in environmental damage that is int’l –not relatively confined to state borders & know more about the environment A. Environmental protection and development o Rio Conference: sustainable development defined as economic growth that doesn’t deplete resources/destroy ecosystems without undermining their growth; less industrialized countries would develop with constraints & more industrialized countries would provide technological aid II. Collective Goods Problem o Sustainable development is a collective good (created by members of group, available to all members of group regardless of individual contribution) – in theory, states will benefit by contributing as little as possible Ex) The commons o Domestic society –we have collective good problems all the time but controlled by govt. by punishing free riders  temptations to free ride is greater internationally o In general. states have tried to manage environmental collective good problems through int’l institutions III. Atmosphere A. Ozone depletion o Harmful UV rays, biggest culprit- CFCs o Early 1990s: detected over North America reduced agricultural yields, general environmental problems, increased possibility of skin cancer o Costs were relatively moderate & the harmful results of CFCs was not doubtful o Montreal Protocol o 22 states agreed to reduce, eventually eliminate CFCs o Poorer states, with the assistance of powerful states, started to reduce levels of CFCs o BUT some financial assistance was lagging cheap black market established o Was imperfect, nonetheless showed that states could agree to actions when problem was impending B. Global warming: burning fossil fuels that creates greenhouse gases that causes the increasing temperature 1. Problems with a negotiated solution (in contrast w/ Ozone depletion) o Problem was uncertain among scientists, disagreements over the specifics of global warming –made it difficult to agree/come together o Short term costs of addressing global warming is high, but benefits are long term (short term costs would arguably curb economic growth that could lead to job losses etc.; various unions didn’t want to address global warming; indeterminate results in the future) o Concentrated costs and benefits are widely distributed o Indeterminate gains –costs & efforts will only matter if others do the same (an incentive to free ride) o Problem to divide costs among rich and poor countries was a critical theme to find a way for poor countries to industrialize without harming environment 2. Kyoto Protocol: a complex formula to reduce greenhouse emissions (mostly in accordance with industrialization) o US didn’t ratify the treaty because it was giving preferential treatment to developing countries, which included China and India while they were among the largest emitters a. Who bears what burden? o General agreement that developed countries should bear the burden, but how much? o Those who damage should bear the burden 1) You broke it, you pay it 2) You bear an unequal benefit while everyone it affected by it 3) Should be held more accountable because they can o Contentions: 1) damage was unintentionalso shouldn’t be punished but still should be held responsible 2) our ancestors didn’t know and we shouldn’t be held accountable but we benefit on the structures of our ancestors b. Trading Emissions: flexibility mechanisms that allowed govt. and private corporations meet their goals through developing projects abroad, as long as they get their emission credits o Makes compliance cheaper BUT would avoid domestic action needed o In favor: “treat emissions like anything else in the market” o Argument against: “Countries can by their way out
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