International Environmental Agreements

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Density plots and mean values for key economic and political variables, engagement “Successes” and “Failures”
FFSR references in INDCs by section, justification, and commitment
Article
Fossil fuel subsidies are a market distortion commonly identified as an obstacle to decar-bonization. Yet due to trenchant political economic risks, reform attempts can be fraught for governments. Despite these concerns, an institutionally and economically diverse group of states included references to fossil fuel subsidy reform (FFSR) in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under the Paris Agreement. What conditions might explain why some states reference politically risky reforms within treaty commitments , while most others would not? We argue that the Article 4 process under the Paris Agreement creates a "credibility dilemma" for states-articulating ambitious emissions reduction targets while also defining national climate plans engenders a need to seek out appropriate policy ideas that can justify overarching goals to international audiences. Inso-much as particular norms are institutionalized and made salient in international politics, a window of opportunity is opened: issue advocates can "activate" norms by demonstrating how related policies can make commitments credible. Using mixed methods, we find support for this argument. We identify contextual factors advancing FFSR in the lead-up to the Paris Agreement, including norm institutionalization in regimes and international organization programs as well as salience-boosting climate diplomacy. Further, we find correspondences between countries targeted by transnational policy advocates and FFSR references in INDCs, building on the momentum in international politics more generally. Though drafting INDCs and NDCs is a government-owned process, the results suggest that understanding their content requires examining international norms alongside domestic circumstances.
 
Article
As Patricia Birnie cautiously and prophetically put it in the inaugural issue of this journal (INEA 1, January 2001, p. 74), “we do not know whether States and the tentative regimes they have so far established can withstand the pressures of globalization of trade and degradation and over-exploitation generated by advances in technologies for locating, fertilizing, harvesting, processing and modifying natural resources and biodiversity. This is truly terra incognita in which such seeds of destruction may already be implanted.” Among the 600 or so papers and reviews published in INEA from 2001 to 2020, more than 70 deal wholly or partly with legal aspects of environmental problems and the international dimensions of environmental justice. While the main focus of INEA has been on issues of public international (inter-state) law , there have also been important inputs drawn from comparative legal analysis (of national legislation and judicial decisions) and from “transnational administrative law” that influence the effectiveness of multilateral treaties and their associated international institutions. Novel concepts and practices emerging from the environmental field (such as recourse to a range of “soft law” principles; flexible delegated standard-setting in the face of global change; and equitable differentiation of compliance duties) have inspired developments in related areas of contemporary international law-making and law-applying. At the same time, the very proliferation of multilateral and bilateral environmental instruments raised new questions and expressions of alarm over “treaty congestion” and “fragmentation” within the international law system. It is not the intention of this paper to explore the general interaction of international environmental law with neighboring disciplines such as international economic law or human rights law, but simply to record the “seismographic” impact of INEA on legal-intellectual discourse over these past two decades. To some extent, the role of the Journal in identifying both new prospects and new risks in this field could indeed be likened to that of a “canary in the coal-mine.” The lessons so learnt may thus offer new insights to help in averting the destruction which Birnie visualized, and to advance inter-generationally and intra- generationally shared values of environmental justice.
 
Article
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law & Economics , we conduct an extensive review of papers published in this journal that address the economic dimensions of international environmental agreements (IEAs). We focus particularly on the lessons learnt from this body of literature and the implications for the assessment and design of IEAs in relation to goals such as efficiency, effectiveness, and equity. Our key conclusions run as follows. First, at the international level, universal coalitions are more cost-efficient and effective than fragmented regimes, but more difficult to negotiate and less stable. Second, in developing countries, there is need for substantial external funding to cover the short-run costs of environmental compliance. Third, market-based solutions have been increasingly applied in international agreements but with mixed results. For example, cap-and-trade systems have the potential to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions and least economic cost. But in the provisioning of water services, private sector solutions often result in outcomes that are unaffordable for low-income groups or nonviable for businesses, suggesting well-designed public–private partnerships. At the international level, Green Bond markets can attract investors for climate and environmental projects, but implementation failures tend to weaken outcomes. Finally, in practical politics, economically optimal designs are rarely achieved. Future applied economic research should therefore critically investigate institutions and the scope for their reform. Gains in knowledge are expected to come from economic analyses taking a broader perspective on “the economy”, taking institutions and social and ecological relations into account from the start.
 
Article
Environmental justice issues have been incrementally but consistently covered within this journal in the last two decades. This article reviews theoretical and empirical approaches to justice in INEA scholarship in order to identify trends and draw lessons for the interpretation and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and for living within environmental limits. Our review traces how justice considerations were initially covered within new institutionalist scholarship on collective action and social practices, to conceptualizing justice as ‘access and allocation’, to newer notions of planetary justice. We link these trends to scholarship on diverse epistemologies and typologies of justice, including conservative, corrective, distributive and procedural justice, and examine their operationalization within the empirical domains of climate, water and sustainable development. In concluding, we draw out implications for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. We argue that a just approach is essential to living within environmental limits, with greater synergies needed between collective action and social practice approaches. While justice can be unpacked for practical and political reasons into access and allocation, we find that (procedural) access considerations are more politically palatable in practice than a concern with allocation (distributive justice), which remains much more contested. As such, dominant approaches promote ‘conservative’ or thin market-based notions of justice. We conclude by noting that just allocation is a precondition to just access. A failure to prioritize and achieve more corrective and distributive forms of justice will, without doubt, contribute to exacerbating global ecological degradation.
 
Analytical framework on agency dynamics
Article
The structural elements of global environmental governance are notoriously difficult to change and align with the needs of a rapidly deteriorating earth system. This, however, only increases the need to focus on the role of agency in this context. This paper does so by taking stock of what we know about agency in relation to International Environmental Agreements (IEAs) and suggests directions for future research. We contribute a conceptual framework to enable the mapping of research on agency related to IEAs and advance more systematic study of agency in this context. The framework differentiates between the negotiation of IEAs, their implementation and outcomes, and includes agency-related and context-related drivers of agency in these processes. We subsequently review articles published between 2003 and 2020 in the journal International Environmental Agreements (as one of the few journals exclusively focusing on IEAs) dealing with actors’ agency and analyse how these articles address agency in the context of IEAs. We conclude firstly by identifying avenues for how further research can fill important gaps, including a need for increased transparency on the methods and theories used in articles, and more comparative research particularly on agency dynamics in implementation; and secondly by highlighting important pointers for policy-makers including the need to re-evaluate the role of national sovereignty and address the forces that counteract equality and justice. Key lessons include the need to improve global south countries' capacity to influence IEA negotiations (input legitimacy), the central role of public and peer pressure on countries to implement commitments, the impact of multilevel governance dynamics and the importance of ensuring that IEAs benefit local communities (output legitimacy).
 
Article
Research on global climate change governance is no longer primarily concerned with the international legal regime, state practice and its outcomes, but rather scrutinizes the intricate interactions between the public and the private in governing climate change. This broad trend has also taken center stage within the pages of INEA. Two decades after its establishment, we sketch the main theoretical debates, conceptual innovations and empirical findings on global climate change governance and survey the new generation of climate governance scholarship. In more detail, we sketch how climate governance research has developed into three innovative sub-debates, building on important conceptualizations and critical inquiries of earlier debates. Our aim is not so much to provide an all-encompassing assessment of global climate change governance scholarship in 2022, but rather to illustrate in what important ways current research is different from research in the early phase of INEA, and what we have learned in the process. First, we discuss scholarship on the bottom-up nature of climate governance, developing from earlier ideas on agency beyond the state and the transnationalization of governance arenas. Second, we review contributions that have more systematically engaged with the concept of governance architectures, resulting in a stimulating new academic debate on the characteristics of complex governance systems and the consequences of governance complexity and fragmentation. Third, we note a distinct normative turn in global environmental scholarship in general and global climate governance in particular, associated with question of access, accountability, allocation, fairness, justice and legitimacy. The assessment of each of these debates is centered around questions of effective and legitimate climate governance to counter the climate emergency. Finally, as a way of concluding, we critically reflect on our own scholarly shortcomings and suggest a modest remedy.
 
Article
Over the past decades, the growing proliferation of international institutions governing the global environment has impelled institutional interplay as a result of functional and norma-tive overlap across multiple regimes. This article synthesizes primary contributions made in research on institutional interplay over the past twenty years, with particular focus on publications with International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. Broadening our understanding about the different types, dimensions, pathways, and effects of institutional interplay, scholars have produced key insights into the ways and means by which international institutions cooperate, manage discord, engage in problem solving, and capture synergies across levels and scales. As global environmental governance has become increasingly fragmented and complex, we recognize that recent studies have highlighted the growing interactions between transnationally operating institutions in the wake of polycentric governance and hybrid institutional complexes. However, our findings reveal that there is insufficient empirical and conceptual research to fully understand the relationship , causes, and consequences of interplay between intergovernmental and transnational institutions. Reflecting on the challenges of addressing regulatory gaps and mitigating the crisis of multilateralism, we expound the present research frontier for further advancing research on institutional interplay and provide recommendations to support policy-making.
 
Article
INEA has featured many articles covering the dilemmas, puzzles, and tensions related to global biodiversity governance; this coverage was infrequent in earlier issues but has steadily increased as both environmental diplomacy and international law on biodiversity conservation and environmental justice have expanded. Using the definition found in the Convention on Biological Diversity, we scanned INEA articles and derived several lessons learnt over the 2000–2020 period. These include: implementation remains a central challenge, but challenge should not be conflated with ineffectiveness; multilateral environmental agreements are vital for success; coordination and policy coherences are often lacking, insufficient, or superficial; institutional change and policy reform within existing institutions are incremental at best; understanding local political dynamics is critical; equity concerns remain central to biodiversity policy development at all levels; the role of non-state actors and private voluntary standards fluctuates; tensions over state sovereignty and collective action and the commons have often been visible but as often lurk in the shadows of environmental diplomacy and most ongoing discussions of global biodiversity governance. After elaborating on each of these lessons, we offer some insights on research gaps and potential thematic directions for future contributors to INEA.
 
Article
This review article addresses the question: What lessons can we learn from work published in International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics regarding the politics of multilateral environmental agreements? What are the implications of these lessons for those responsible for creating and administering these agreements? Based on an analysis of 147 articles published over the past 20 years, the article explores issues of institutional design, institutional politics, implementation, and effectiveness. It concludes that key conditions for success in this realm include: (a) developing a toolkit that is not limited to rules-based governance, (b) paying attention to matters of implementation, (c) bearing in mind the overall regime complex, (d) developing effective leadership based on credibility and accountability, and (e) allowing for institutional adaptation.
 
Article
The purpose of this article is to examine the research advanced in the journal, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics that represents key insights into international agreements on water and their political, legal, economic and cross-disciplinary dimensions for water governance. The article analyses evidence and lessons learnt over the last twenty years to inform policy through a review of theoretical advances, innovations in principles and policy instruments, outcomes of problem-solving and knowledge gained regarding water agreements and associated institutions. Important international agreement principles of no significant harm and economic frames of water as a ‘commons’ advance equity and community of interest in relation to water. The studies on water, sanitation and hygiene point to the ways the role of the state can be advanced in achieving Sustainable Development Goals and in complex contexts of water scarcity and public private partnerships. Cross-disciplinary learnings substantiate the existence and utility of multiple water frames in legal arrangements and use of multiple policy instruments. Cross-disciplinary insights are significant in addressing equity, whether through the nascent development of water indicators or in advancing social learning. Water governance frameworks increasingly focus on adaptation by incorporating multiple stakeholders. These findings that advance equity and inclusivity are tempered by crucial lessons in our understanding of the very contested, power-laden nature of water governance that impact agency at multiple scales and policy coordination across sectors of water, food and energy.
 
Article
The literature on global climate change governance frequently refers to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol as a “top-down” instrument, often in unfavourable comparison with the 2015 Paris Agreement, described as “bottom-up”. However, the meaning ascribed to “top-down” is often left undefined, contributing to a surprisingly widespread misunderstanding that the Kyoto Protocol, and in particular its emission targets, were imposed on governments. Against this background, this paper seeks to answer the following research question: To what extent can the Kyoto Protocol’s emissions targets be justifiably referred to as having been imposed through a “top-down” process? To answer this question, the paper reviews the literature on the Kyoto Protocol, with particular attention paid to the historical record and authoritative accounts of the negotiations. Having found evidence that denoting the Kyoto Protocol as “top-down” without further explanation is misleading, to the point of caricature and misrepresentation, the paper takes on a second research question: What factors lie behind the misleading characterisation of the Kyoto Protocol as “top down”? In answer to this question, the paper points to confusion between process and substance. It also invokes a wider tendency to unduly discredit the Kyoto Protocol, along with strategic efforts to emphasise differences between the Protocol and the Paris Agreement in order to legitimise the latter. The paper ultimately finds that the “bottom-up/top-down” metaphor obscures more than it illuminates, and that our understanding of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement would be best served by abandoning it.
 
Article
This study investigates whether the rationales for introducing carbon border adjustments (CBA) are consistent with theoretical predictions. Specifically, it addresses the following questions. When CBA is theoretically modelled for a level playing field in international trade, does it encourage climate efforts in developing countries, and does it improve global climate effectiveness? What are the implications for international environmental cooperation? The study highlights how the strategic interdependence between countries changes with the introduction of CBA by using a model that incorporates CBA into the two-stage reciprocal-markets model originated by Brander and Spencer (1984). Recognising that CBA is unidirectional, whereby only a country with a more stringent climate policy can impose CBA on imports, the results demonstrate that introducing CBA creates an incentive discrepancy between developed and developing countries; the former (the latter) may adopt a more aggressive (defensive) domestic climate policy.
 
Article
In the battle to address Europe’s biodiversity crisis, fixing its implementation gap—the gap between EU nature law on the books, and on the ground—is vital. Europe’s private nature governance revolution, underpinned by the UNECE Aarhus Convention, is a core part of its response. This article breaks new empirical ground in understanding how those mechanisms have been working in practice, and their knock-on effects for traditional enforcement by the State. We develop an innovative methodological tool, the Nature Governance Effectiveness Indicators (“NGEIs”), enabling the first quantitative measurement of the effectiveness of public and private nature governance in practice. In collecting data on these indicators, we create a novel dataset spanning three jurisdictions and 23 years, giving a unique insight into Europe’s “environmental democracy in action”. We regress the NGEIs against the Nature Governance Index, an original longitudinal index measuring the evolution in nature governance laws over this period. Our results provide the first systematic empirical evidence that, despite the widespread embrace of private nature governance laws on the books across our studied jurisdictions from 1992 to 2015, the enhanced citizens’ rights conferred by these laws are not being consistently used in practice. They also reveal that, despite these inconsistencies in usage of the Aarhus mechanisms in practice, passing private governance laws can in fact improve levels of State enforcement of EU nature law in practice. For policymakers seeking to increase enforcement of EU nature law on the ground, harnessing what we term the shadow of heterarchy, by strengthening private governance rights, may therefore be a more effective means of doing so than simply ratcheting up existing traditional governance mechanisms such as levels of maximum criminal penalties or civil fines.
 
Article
In a three-stage game, we revisit the non-cooperative coalition approaches into international environmental agreements by tackling a fundamental design flaw in these approaches. We show how a treaty can effectively remove the free-riding problem from its roots by farsightedly choosing its members’ emissions. We prove that under this approach, the grand coalition is a self-enforcing equilibrium. We will argue how the modified timing of the coalition game suggested in this article is more realistic and consistent with real-world practices. Another advantage of the farsighted rule is its simplicity and applicability to all coalition game settings, regardless of whether agents are homogeneous or heterogeneous.
 
Article
The Commission for the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is the body responsible for the conservation and management of most species in the Southern Ocean. The Convention mandates that decisions be made by consensus agreement of its Members. This approach has been largely successful in delivering strong management decisions across both complex issues and widely ranging national interests. However, recent failures to progress the implementation of a network of marine protected areas or to agree any concrete response actions to climate impacts raise concerns about its effectiveness. This paper reviews the level of uptake of Member-driven proposals and then examines examples of proposals that were not resolved within the usual three years to analyse the processes utilised by Members to find resolution. It concludes that CCAMLR has been successful in reaching agreements when focusing on fisheries management but less so on issues within its broader conservation mandate, such as area protection for biodiversity purposes or non-fishery management focused scientific study, or for issues that are perceiv ed to extend the competency of the Convention. It notes that CCAMLR lacks operational mechanisms to facilitate agreement in the absence of compromise text or when one or two Members cannot accept a proposal.
 
Map of countries and microstates that refer to impacts of population growth in their NDCs. Orange indicates countries that did not include impacts of population growth in their NDC (population exclusive), while red indicates countries that included at least one impact of population growth in their NDC (population inclusive). Gray indicates countries that either did not submit NDCs by the time of review or were excluded from our study (Iraq and Kuwait). Saint-Barthelemy, a French territory that submitted a population inclusive NDC as an addendum to the EU NDC, is not shown on this map
Frequency of identified impacts of population growth, disaggregated by NDC component (national circumstances, mitigation or adaptation) (n = 107)
There was a trend for countries that included impacts of population growth in their NDCs (population inclusive) to have higher population growth rates (a) and higher unmet need for family planning (b) than countries that did not include these impacts (population exclusive). Mean value (large dot) ± SD, based on countries (small circles). Note that these are descriptive comparisons and no statistical tests were conducted (see Methods for explanation)
Proportion of NDCs that included actions or strategies to slow population growth. Of 164 NDCs (left), just under one-third included at least one impact of population growth. However, recognizing the climate-related impacts of population growth was largely not reflected in actions or strategies to slow population growth: Seven NDCs included an action or strategy to slow population growth (right)
Article
Under the Paris Agreement, nations made pledges known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs): national climate plans detailing countries’ ambitions to adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Population growth is a driver of both climate vulnerability and climate-altering emissions. We asked, to what extent do countries take population growth into account in their NDCs, beyond simple statements of population trends? Our research method was a comprehensive text review of 164 NDCs submitted by countries. About one-third (49) of countries’ NDCs either link population growth to a negative effect and/or identify population growth as a challenge or trend affecting societal needs. Common impacts of population growth noted were increased energy demand, natural resource degradation, vulnerability to climate impacts, and decreased food and water security. Seven NDCs included strategies to slow population growth, and none specified implementation measures. Overall, the adaptation potential and mitigation co-benefits associated with slowing population growth through meeting the unmet need for family planning are largely overlooked in national NDC documents, suggesting that they are also neglected in countries’ climate change planning. In upcoming rounds of NDC updates, we recommend that governments consider the potential impact of population growth on adaptation and mitigation efforts, prioritize meeting their unmet needs for family planning, and integrate population-health-environment projects in their national climate plans.
 
Article
The transformation from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement has been analyzed by international relations scholars, international law, and transnational governance theory. The international relations literature looks at the climate regime from a perspective of power distribution, state interests, institutions, and multilateral negotiations. International law theory focuses on legal analysis and design of international climate agreements. The transnational governance literature examines the participation of transnational actors at different levels of governance. However, each of these theories overlooks a bilateral trend of cooperation in a multilateral setting that arises as part of the construction or reconstruction of the international regime. Why do national and subnational public actors in global climate governance cooperate bilaterally when multilateral cooperation already exists? What type of bilateral cooperative agreements do these actors prefer, and why? Using qualitative methods, combining content analysis subsequent interviews, this research empirically demonstrates the role and importance of bilateral transatlantic cooperation and informal agreements between national and subnational actors in global climate governance. Using the EU-US case study, this research identifies a diagonal dimension of interaction between states and transnational actors. It introduces and defines the terms "translateral cooperation" and "translateral agreements" in the new climate regime. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10784-022-09575-6.
 
Article
Zoonotic viruses have sacrificed hundreds of millions of people throughout human history. There are currently 1.7 million unidentified viruses estimated to be circulating in mammal and bird populations. It is foreseeable that in the near future, another of these will transmit to people, heralding the start of the next pandemic—one potentially more deadly than COVID-19. At the core of this article is a call for pre-emptive protection of the natural environment and its regenerative systems as the first fundamental step in the prevention of future epidemics and pandemics. While zoonoses originate in nature, the predominant legal discipline, managing these crises, is international health law which is invoked reactively once an outbreak has been reported. In this paper, we identify the need for a legal shift in epidemic and pandemic responses. In particular, we call for the incorporation of international environmental agreements to prevent the initial viral spillover from animal to human populations. We propose a strategy of strengthening existing agreements and a coupling of legal disciplines, such as health and environmental law, emphasizing the need for synergies across legal disciplines to enhance the emergence and management of future pandemics and epidemics. We introduce Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS) Law to frame the required integration across legal instruments to regulate inextricably human-nature connections and advocate for the development of a Convention on Epidemics and Pandemics.
 
EU clusters by circular economy results
Article
The European Union (EU) is trying to accelerate the transition from the current linear economy to a circular economy (CE). In fact, the CE is considered a tool to attain sustainable development goals (SDGs). In this sense, this paper aims at analysing the interaction between the CE and SDGs in the context of the new 2030 Agenda and the European CE strategy; thus contributing to the scarce empirical literature that links the potential of the European CE strategy to the achievement of the SDGs set by the 2030 Agenda. Three specific research questions have been formulated. First, could the objectives defined in the 2030 Agenda be considered homogeneous, and could they uniquely measure the concept of sustainability? Second, are there significant correlations between the implementation of a CE in the EU and the SDGs? Finally, is the behaviour of the 28 countries that make up the EU homogeneous in terms of the results of the initiatives aimed at the implementation of a CE? From these questions, nine hypotheses are put forward concerning the possible relationships between a CE implementation and the fulfilment of SDGs in the EU. Using a correlation analysis, an exploratory factor analysis, and a cluster analysis, it has been demonstrated that (a) SDGs do not univocally measure the concept of sustainability; (b) there are significant relationships between CE and SDGs in the EU; (c) the behaviour of these European countries is not homogeneous.
 
Construction of the nature governance index
The NGI—Trends in traditional vs. private governance compared
The NGI—Trends in access to information, public participation and access to justice compared
The NGI—trends in Dutch access to justice
The NGI—The Role of Case-Law
Article
European environmental governance has radically transformed over the past two decades. While traditionally enforcement of environmental law has been the responsibility of public authorities (public authorities of the EU Member States, themselves policed by the European Commission), this paradigm has now taken a democratic turn. Led by changes in international environmental law and in particular the UNECE Aarhus Convention (UNECE, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention (1998). Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention), signed on June 25, 1998.), EU law now gives important legal rights to members of the public and environmental non-governmental organisations (“ENGOs”) to become involved in environmental governance, by means of accessing environmental information, participating in environmental decision-making and bringing legal proceedings. While doctrinal legal and regulatory scholarship on this embrace of “bottom-up” private environmental governance is now substantial, there has been relatively little quantitative research in the field. This article represents a first step in mapping this evolution of environmental governance laws in the EU. We employ a leximetrics methodology, coding over 6000 environmental governance laws from three levels of legal sources (international, EU and national), to provide the first systematic data showing the transformation of European environmental governance regimes. We develop the Nature Governance Index (“NGI”) to measure how the enforcement tools deployed in international, EU and national law have changed over time, from the birth of the EU’s flagship nature conservation law, the 1992 Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC). At the national level, we focus on three EU Member States (France, Ireland and the Netherlands) to enable a fine-grained measurement of the changes in national nature governance laws over time. This article introduces our unique datasets and the NGI, describes the process used to collect the datasets and its limitations, and compares the evolution in laws at the international, EU and national levels over the 23-year period from 1992–2015. Our findings provide strong empirical confirmation of the democratic turn in European environmental governance, while revealing the significant divergences between legal systems that remain absent express harmonisation of the Aarhus Convention’s principles in EU law. Our data also set the foundations for future quantitative legal research, enabling deeper analysis of the relationships between the different levels of multilevel environmental governance.
 
Zero waste hierarchy
Article
The issue of developing effective legal regulation of waste management and implementation of best practices in this area is relevant for many countries of the world. In the Republic of Kazakhstan, the development of a regulatory framework for waste management is still in its infancy. This situation poses a potential threat to the environment and public health. The question of this study is what are the obstacles to the effective implementation of international agreements in the field of waste management in Kazakhstan? What international legal instruments in the field of waste management are not fully used and what legislative initiatives need to be implemented in this regard? In order to assess the applicability of their regulations to the conditions of Kazakh law, the study examines such supranational legal instruments as, in particular, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, the Espoo Convention, Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council. As this study suggests, an impending problem for Kazakhstan is the issue of utilization of WEEE and the implementation of the Basel Convention regarding the issue of transportation and disposal of WEEE. Despite the growing interest in the issues of proper waste management, mechanisms related to the implementation of the Espoo Convention and the Aarhus Convention are poorly implemented in Kazakhstan. This study uses the method of political and legal analysis, with the help of which it examines the problems of the effectiveness of the implementation of international agreements in the field of waste management in the Republic of Kazakhstan and ways to overcome them. To achieve these goals, international legislative acts in the field of environmental protection and the legislation of the European Union and EU member states were analyzed, which made it possible to determine the possibility of applying foreign practices on legal regulation of waste management and implementation of international legal acts mechanisms in Kazakhstan. The study attempts to give a qualitative assessment of the elaboration of the legislative regulation of the waste management sphere in Kazakhstan. The solution of problems in the field of waste management at the state level can be feasible only with a systemic rather than partial reform of the legal framework. Based on the EU practices in the implementation of international and supranational environmental agreements, the optimal combination of state and market instruments would improve the regulatory framework of Kazakhstan in the field of waste management. In order to create the most beneficial effect in countering the accumulation of waste without harming the economy, it would be useful to apply proactive and preventive approaches to increase the responsibility and participation of all stakeholder groups.
 
Article
The question of balancing the competing uses of prior and late developers has long been the core issue in international water law (IWL). Yet, how IWL evolves to assure the flexibility and continuing adaptability of its norms in the context of changing circumstances of water use regimes, has not been the subject of comprehensive academic research. Based on an empirical analysis of 459 international water treaties, this research reveals that equal protection of prior use and later use is becoming an emerging trend for international treaty practices, while obligations of “due diligence” emerge to redefine the “no-harm” principle; the growing concern for environmental protection challenges the basic understanding of the concepts of “harm” and “reasonableness”. To strengthen the trend for equal protection and to ensure greater flexibility and adaptability of IWL, this paper focuses on the promotion of institutional water cooperation, the forging of common understanding over the importance of transboundary environmental protection, and the development of more up-to-date global legal frameworks.
 
Model of the business landscape of a corporate investment fund Source: based on (Kituy, 2020; Norfund, 2020)
Target asset class of corporate investment funds in the context of developed and emerging markets, 2019: 1. emerging markets; 2. developed markets
Source: own development based on (Houérou, 2019)
Article
The UNFCCC and Paris Climate Agreement set the environmental agenda for many years to come, making environmental protection a global trend. Herewith, these documents created many unprecedented challenges for business, shifting the focus from the original role of commercial benefit to the trade-off between profit and social responsibility. The need to adapt business strategies to the existing agenda has created new requirements for shaping the investment environment. In this aspect, there arises the question regarding the organizational and legal form the investment activities can be carried out in and what additional regulatory instruments can be applied to simplify the procedure for attracting environmental investments. In the current conditions, corporate investment funds may be considered as promising instruments for achieving the goals of international climate agreements. The study suggests that corporate investment funds can become an effective tool for attracting environmental investments. The study purpose is to assess the role of corporate investment funds in international climate agreements goals achievement, to consider the possibility of development strategies to improve management efficiency in the corporate investment funds in terms of their linkage to UNFCCC, Paris Climate Agreement and in a comparative perspective. The study methodology is based on the analysis of world and Russian law enforcement practices in the corporate activities field through the application of a systematic approach. The relationship between corporate governance represented by big businesses and the state is considered in the framework of the investment mechanism and the institutional environment, which is visualized in the model of the business landscape of a corporate investment fund in order to determine management strategies in the operation and development of a corporate investment fund. The study results can be put into practice by financial market participants and other entities in order to increase the efficiency of the use of assets and knowledge of national jurisdictions in the context of world and Russian practices.
 
The role of GSCM in green building management
Article
Green building is an innovative and socially significant element of enhancing environmental sustainability. The main idea behind the construction of green buildings is to increase the sustainability of the living environment, which is achieved by reducing the overall impact of buildings on the environment and human health. This undoubtedly important trend, entering into modern use and closely related to the concept of sustainable development, makes it necessary to determine what lies at the basis of its international legal regulation. The purpose of the study is to determine the place and role of international legal instruments for the formation of "green" construction and processes, related to it. The Aarhus Convention, as one of these instruments, provides dual protections for environmental and human rights, and its focus on public engagement provides a mechanism to ensure that governments are held accountable in their efforts to address the multifaceted challenges facing our world today. At the same time, the second one—the UN Global Compact—is the world's largest corporate social responsibility initiative and also directly affects the status of implementation of many modern instruments aimed at achieving sustainable development in national legal systems. Research question: What is the role of the UN Global Compact and the Aarhus Convention in stimulating green building in Russia at the present stage? Through the method of political and legal analysis used in the work, the study attempts to determine the role of the mentioned international regulatory legal acts in the field of environmental protection as a tool to stimulate green building. The study is based on the assumption that international environmental agreements have the necessary levers to influence green building, and their effective application is in the public interest. The study is based on the example of the Russian legal system in a comparative perspective. This paper discusses the impact of international instruments such as the Aarhus Convention and the United Nations Global Compact on promoting green building, the sustainable development of the construction industry and the relationship between sustainability and competitiveness when using green supply chain management (GSCM). The study gives reasons to say about the contradictory attitude of the Russian authorities to the initiative to join the Aarhus Convention, but at the same time confirms the interest of Russian business in adherence to the goals of the UN Global Compact; however, it demonstrates the fact that the issue of forming sustained commitment to the concept of green construction directly for the construction business at this stage is not among the top priorities. In this area, commitment to the principles of the UN Global Compact is in its infancy. In practical terms, the work is of interest both for business entities for assessing the commercial profitability of business processes and for policymakers in the field of adapting domestic legislative acts to international legislation and law enforcement practices.
 
Article
While multilateral approaches and national policies have been unable to halt the unprecedented loss of biodiversity, responses from non-state and subnational initiatives are increasing. The successful implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), to be agreed upon under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), ultimately depends on commitments and action by state and non-state actors, including subnational actors. However, non-state and subnational actors have so far received little attention in academic analysis of global biodiversity governance. In order to better understand and harness the potential of non-state and subnational involvement, this paper addresses the ways in which non-state initiatives contribute to global biodiversity governance and how productive linkages can be built between state and non-state actors in the post-2020 GBF. This paper applies an explorative case study approach and analyses six international cooperative initiatives (ICIs) that highlight novel approaches in international biodiversity governance. We analyse the qualities of ICIs for biodiversity governance in terms of strengths and potential, the governance functions that they fulfil, and how they are engaging with the CBD and the post-2020 GBF. Based on this analysis, we discuss challenges and opportunities related to non-state and subnational actors involvement in global biodiversity governance and identify possible steps forward. We emphasise the importance of a collaborative framework for non-state action within the CBD that builds on existing and emerging activities of non-state actors, organises monitoring and review as part of an accountability framework of state and non-state actors, and provides for learning, capacity building and follow-up action.
 
Article
This article highlights Australia’s interaction with Asian countries in the development of an international legal instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). An intergovernmental conference with four planned sessions is currently going on under the auspices of the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) for the adoption of a new legal instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although there is literature on how Australia and Asia have forged closer engagement on matters of trade, security and culture, literature is scarce on how and in what way they can engage in promoting the conservation of ABNJ. In terms of marine environmental discussion, Australia appears to date overall to have aligned itself closely to other western countries and some developed Asian countries. This article examines the potential scope for increased collaboration with Asia on reaching future legal agreement with respect to ABNJ.
 
Article
It is widely understood that the environmental problem is getting borderless and challenging, requiring concerted efforts of many states and increasing the need for international agreements. However, only for the agreement to exist may not be sufficient—the agreement needs to be credible: obliging the signatories with actions associated with the goal, displaying clear and unambiguous rules, and involving third parties in the dispute settlement. Unfortunately, in the presence of the non-interference principle, the creation of a credible agreement may be implausible as, conceptually, the principle is innately antipodal to hard obligations and third-party involvement in the dispute settlement. This case study seeks to understand how the legalization of the ASEAN Agreement of Transboundary Haze Pollution conformed to the non-interference principle and influenced Indonesia, the main laggard, in dealing with the predicament accordingly. Diverging with the common understanding, the agreement seems to carry strong obligation and precision, as shown in the main agreement and its protocols. However, the apparent downside lies in the lack of delegation dimension, as the current dispute resolution is made through diplomatic efforts that led to fruitless outcomes. This study counters the simplistic view of the association between the non-interference principle and the lack of obligations. Overall, this study points out the importance of the delegation dimension in regionalization and encourages the interventionist approach concerning global environmental protection.
 
Marginal effects. The gray area represents the 95% confidence interval
Correlation plot of covariates
Summary statistics
Average level of domestic and international climate ambition (2008–2017)
Article
Climate change is a global crisis that requires countries to act on both domestic and international levels. This paper examines how climate policies in these two arenas are related and to what extent domestic and international climate ambitions are complementary or disparate. While scholarly work has begun to assess the variation in overall climate policy ambition, only a few studies to date have tried to explain whether internationally ambitious countries are ambitious at home and vice versa . According to the common view, countries that are more ambitious at home can also be expected to be more ambitious abroad. Many scholars, however, portray the relationship instead as disparate, whereby countries need to walk a tightrope between the demands of their domestic constituencies on the one hand and international pressures on the other, while preferring the former over the latter. This study uses quantitative methods and employs data from the OECD DAC dataset on climate finance to measure international climate ambitions. Overall, the present work makes two major contributions. First, it provides evidence that international climate financing ambition is complementary to domestic climate ambition. Second, the article identifies the conditional effect of domestic ambition—with regard to responsibility, vulnerability, carbon-intensive industry and economic capacity—on international climate ambition.
 
Predicted Probability of Delegation. Note: graph displays predicted probabilities of delegation. Vertical dashed bars capture 95% confidence intervals. Confidence intervals adjusted according to MacGregor-Fors and Payton (2013). Values are calculated for Model 4 while holding all other covariates constant at their means
Simulated Predicted Probability of Delegation. Note: Graph displays distribution of simulated predicted probabilities of delegation for values of Left-Wing Executive (N = 1000 simulations). Horizontal bars capture 95% confidence intervals. Confidence intervals adjusted according to MacGregor-Fors and Payton (2013). Values are calculated for Model 4 while holding Right-Wing Executive at 0 and all other covariates constant at their medians
First Difference Estimates. Note: Graph displays first difference estimates and 95% confidence intervals. The estimates are sorted by mean of each first difference. Confidence intervals adjusted according to MacGregor-Fors and Payton (2013). Calculations are based on Model 4 and done when changing a variable from its 25th percentile to its 75th percentile (minimum to maximum for dichotomous items). All other variables held constant at their medians
Article
Does the political ideology of negotiating parties influence the design of international environmental agreements? This article distinguishes between leftist and rightist executives in democracies to develop a twofold argument. First, left-leaning democratic governments tend to be generally more environmental-friendly, which implies that they should favor designs that are more conducive to effective institutions. Second, leftist democratic executives are commonly less concerned about sovereignty costs. Both mechanisms suggest that environmental treaties likely comprise “legalized,” i.e., hard-law elements when left-wing democracies negotiate their design. The empirical implication of the theory is tested with quantitative data on international environmental agreements since 1975. The findings report an association between leftist ideology in democracies and agreement legalization, although this is driven by aspects of sovereignty delegation. This article contributes to the literatures on environmental institutions, international cooperation more generally, as well as party politics.
 
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Article
This paper studies how the investment in adaptation can influence the participation in an international environmental agreement (IEA) when countries decide in adaptation before they choose emissions. Three types of agreements are studied, a mitigation agreement for which countries coordinate their decisions only on emissions; an adaptation agreement for which there is only coordination when countries decide their levels of adaptation and a complete agreement when there is coordination in both emissions and adaptation levels. In every case, we assume that the degree of effectiveness of adaptation is bounded from above, in order words, adaptation can alleviate the environmental problem, but it cannot solve it by itself leading the vulnerability of the country to almost zero. Our first results show that in our symmetric model where signatories select the same level of adaptation there are not signatory-signatory international externalities and the complete agreement coincides with the mitigation agreement, and moreover it does not matter when adaptation is chosen with respect to emissions. The main contribution of this paper is to show that the grand coalition could be stable for all types of agreement, but only for extremely high degrees of effectiveness of adaptation. If this condition is not satisfied, the model predicts low levels of membership. The standard result of three countries is found for the mitigation/complete agreement. For the adaptation agreement participation can be higher than three, but not higher than six countries. In any case, we can conclude that under reasonable values for the degree of effectiveness of adaptation, in our model adaptation does not promote participation in an IEA.
 
Article
The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, is ushering in a new climate regime. Owing to the increasing importance of technology development and transfer, a technology subregime became part of the Paris Agreement in the form of Article 10, which obligates parties to strengthen their cooperative action on technology development and transfer. This technology subregime includes the Technology Mechanism as a working mechanism, established in 2010 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The effective implementation of the technology subregime hinges upon the supporting role of the Technology Mechanism, particularly its implementing organization, the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN). Technology subregimes are regarded not only as effective means to tackle environmental problems, but also as an inducement to extend the participation of developing countries in international environmental agreements. However, the means to assess them have not been widely explored. A recent UNFCCC discussion considered whether the CTCN impacted the enhancement of environmental quality in terms of mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. Therefore, this study evaluates the institutional effectiveness of the technology subregime of the Paris Agreement with the CTCN. This study utilizes five evaluation criteria: (1) environmental effectiveness, (2) technological effectiveness, (3) economic effectiveness, (4) compliance and participation incentives, and (5) administrative feasibility. It summarizes analytical results and concludes by proposing policy implications regarding the assessment of institutional effectiveness of the technology subregime.
 
Municipal wastes in Nigeria. Sources: https://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=79946&printable=1 (accessed 27 November 2021)
Prospects of wastes to energy in the Nigerian Electricity Industry.
Source: The Authors Created the Figure
Map displaying terrestrial allotment of renewable energy bases in Nigeria.
Source: Optimisation of Renewable Energy: https://www.google.com/search?tbs=simg:caqslwijoxa7vet_1xlkaiwilelcmpwgaygpgcamsklmd0gjycdeiprthcaquzqficdyi-z_1np_1o_1ljnxpug_18d7mp5w53ckamaviz9aolgyn9_1sltawxrv7apvpw2mldpu480xrmy8seqb9wszs-07w9zqct8vdo8saedasqjq7-cbokcggiarieq7cxxwwlej3twqkagwekfwofyxrsyxpapyj2awokcc9tlzbjcm5mchgkbm51bwjlctqlipydcgoil20vmdvmd2ikfwofd29ybgtapyj2awokcc9tlza5bm1fchgkbm9yyw5nzdqlipydcgoil20vmgpjx3akgwoicgfyywxszwzapyj2awskcs9tlzazmhpmbgw&q=percent+of+access+to+electricity+in+nigeria&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=2ahukewjgrouqxjbsahuto8akhtjfcogqwg4oahoecbaqka&biw=1517&bih=675#imgrc=b-oyxi1otzw0vm, (accessed November 26, 2021)
Article
This research investigates the necessity for transformation of wastes to energy for environmentally friendly and improvement in Nigeria’s power sector for sustainability, to reduce greenhouse gas discharges and to encourage financings of renewable energy resources, and to alleviate the anxieties on dumping of deleterious wastes in Nigeria. The research utilises a library-centred doctrinal legal study modus operandi with a conceptual methodology, count on current researches. It investigates the effectiveness of subsisting legal regime and other regulations and policies which are requisite on the procedure of waste administration involving electricity generation in the country. Furthermore, the study conducts a quantitative assessment concerning augmented dickey fuller for analysing the stationarity of the data sequences and abound test cointegration approach to ascertain the subsistence of enduring connection between carbon emission and its determinants. A relative assessment of the renewable energy practise via biological wastes to electricity in other nations was also performed in this research. Additionally, the study uses dogmatic-legal analysis which draws on the results of linguistic grammatical, systemic, and teleological (purposive) interpretation of the existing legal regime on solid waste management and electricity generation in Nigeria. The study’s fundamental finding indicates that when the Federal Government takes pragmatic actions to combat waste dumping, it will curtail waste from the numerous bases in compliance with the regulatory and statutory obligations. This can be exploited to produce power while carbon emissions are regulated. The research investigates the consequence of metropolitan solid waste administration and electricity sources on carbon emissions, advocating substitution of power generation source in tackling environmental problems in the country. The study ends with suggestions for the amalgamation of policies and non-statutory encouragements for transforming waste to energy in the country’s power industry and prescribes comprehensible law on energy bases with strict execution of electricity regulations for constant electricity generation and sustainability in the country's electricity industry.
 
Paradigm assessment result
Article
The purpose of this paper is to indicate how dominant research paradigms, social theories, and an epistocracy influence the governance of green and ecological infrastructures within a South African local government context. Paradigms and theories play an important constituting role that (local) government actors and institutions actively and subconsciously promote within the green and ecological infrastructure policy landscape. Research conducted by the author indicates that epistemic actors within the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa, use paradigms and theories to promote green and ecological infrastructures, as materialities, coupled with climate change adaptation and mitigation and water governance and security aspirations. I conclude that an epistocracy is active in the municipality and that it promotes the development and implementation of the infrastructure types through a positivist paradigm and accompanied theories. In this article, I will report on a two-year study that investigated eThekwini’s green and ecological infrastructure policy landscape.
 
Article
Over the past decades, the international governance of climate change has evolved from a singular forum—the UNFCCC—to a larger international regime complex of a variety of fora covering different aspects of the broader climate change issue. The international regime complex on climate change (IRCCC) presents particular challenges and opportunities for ambitious climate actors like the European Union. However, it remains unclear how much importance the EU has attributed to the non-UNFCCC fora of the complex over time and whether the EU is responsive in its climate diplomacy to the evolving international governance structure. This paper therefore addresses the question: To what extent has the importance that the EU has placed on non-UNFCCC fora coincided with the evolution of the international regime complex on climate change? Using qualitative coding of Council Conclusions related to multilateral climate diplomacy (1994–2018), the article finds that the EU is indeed responsive, though to varying degrees, to the evolution of the IRCCC. Additionally, the EU has been more responsive to fora in certain policy areas than others, though the extent this importance is reciprocated beyond the UNFCCC context is called into question. This article therefore provides an updated perspective of not only the importance of non-UNFCCC fora to EU climate diplomacy but also in the IRCCC more broadly.
 
Article
Based on the generally accepted view that the issues of climate change and the consequences of environmental pollution have no boundaries, the question of how countries are able to negotiate is of particular importance. After China's refusal to import e-waste, the environmental agenda of importing countries increasingly shares an opinion about the need to find alternatives for the disposal of this kind of waste. However, the question of how quickly such alternative solutions can be implemented, and whether such a delay contributes to the excess accumulation of waste remains open. In this regard, the research question is defined as follows: what challenges does the existing policy of China create for exporting countries and China itself with regard to WEEE exports and whether the scenario of returning to the previous model of import–export interaction between China and exporter-states is acceptable? To study these issues, the work uses the method of political and legal analysis, as well as the method of case study. The article suggests that today the role of China is uncontested, since today the level of production of electronic and electrical equipment significantly exceeds the volume of WEEE. At the same time, the number of existing facilities and personnel of companies involved in the processing of WEEE is critically out of proportion to the growing volume of waste. In the context of the applicability of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the study examines the reasons for China's refusal to import WEEE, as well as perspective areas of legislative regulation of China in the field of handling WEEE. The study and assessment of the prospects for legal regulation in this area in China against the background of global initiatives determines the purpose of this study.
 
Expected observable implications for relationships between environmental worldviews and aspects of project design
Regression results [main model, 50% exclusion criterion] (odds ratios)
continued)
Post-analysis summary of expected observable implications compared to the results (gray = supported, white = inconclusive (no significant result), partially shaded = expected as n/a but observed as positive)
Frequency of simplified actor types with each environmental worldview
Article
Scholars and policymakers working on non-state climate action have tended to focus on functional considerations, largely neglecting questions of ideology. This article brings them into the spotlight by investigating how ideology affects climate action initiatives. Based on a new database of 389 projects associated with reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, the article examines how ideology affects project design and partnering. A quantitative analysis and four case studies of projects in Colombia and Peru show how environmental ideology shapes the preferences of project developers for project designs and partners. Two mechanisms that underlie this are also derived. The findings show how a focus on ideology can help open the black box of climate action initiatives and explain their substantive variation. They also offer insights into the ideological implications of the transnationalization of climate governance. Non-state climate action at once entrenches the neoliberal ideological status quo of climate politics and offers critical ideologies a foothold. This poses risks for the future effectiveness and legitimacy of non-state climate action and should be considered in the design of the emerging institutional architecture that supports it. This article also sets a platform for and outlines the contours of a future research agenda on ideology in climate action.
 
EU countries with nuclear power.
Source: Eurostat (2018)
Article
The world community recognizes the enormous potential danger posed by nuclear power, including accidents at nuclear industries and atomic infrastructure facilities, the possibility of using nuclear technologies for criminal purposes. At the same time, immediate rejection of the use of nuclear technologies can create incomparably greater harm to both humans and the environment. In the context of many countries' transition to a low-carbon economy, nuclear energy is assigned a special role. The subject of this study is political and legal prerequisites for expanding legal regulation in the field of nuclear energy. Using the method of political and legal analysis, the study considers modern international initiatives in legal regulation of nuclear energy. In addition, the work touches on the issue of the relationship between nuclear law and private international law in the context of the possibility of expanding the latter. The study suggests that in the near future, the expansion of nuclear energy legal regulation at the EU and CIS level will be carried out mainly with the help of soft law acts, as well as bilateral treaties concerning the technical aspects of nuclear infrastructure facilities. In practical terms, this study is of interest to lawyers in the field of public international, private international, and energy law.
 
Choropleth maps of Innovation index, Innovators index, Innovation friendly environment and Research systems. Own elaboration based on European Commission has created the European Innovation Scoreboards
Hazardous waste shipment flow for recovery
Network displaying the modularity
Article
In Europe, there are different regulations regarding hazardous waste management with which European Union Member States must comply. On the one hand, Member States must meet the recovery targets that are set in the different waste Directives, and they have two options here: material recovery facilities in the country of origin, or recovery through the shipment of waste. In addition, EU Member States must comply with the regulations governing the shipment of hazardous waste (HW), that is, the Basel Convention and the European Regulation on the shipment of waste. Two main questions arise: where is hazardous waste sent, and why? We analyse the European regulation on the shipment of waste, and we consider the above questions by combining network analysis methodology, to examine which countries in the network can be grouped in HW-trading communities, and ANOVA technique to study how the groups created in the network behave in different contexts. These HW-trading communities can be assessed according to European Innovation Indicators, GDP, and other variables. The results allow us to understand the drivers behind the shipment of HW for recovery in Europe. First, this study provides a descriptive overview of the relationships between European countries, the way in which they cooperate and describes how each country is positioned in the joint network. Second, the study is able to identify the most relevant countries in the network. Third, the HW-trading communities are analysed to discover whether they behave differently from the other groups according to GDP and other variables, amongst which we have included the following Europe Innovation Indicators: innovation index, research systems, innovation friendly environment, or innovators. The results show that the Nordic countries are outstanding in the way in which their waste is managed with other countries and reveal a community that works both in the context of hazardous waste shipment and innovation.
 
The Colorado River Basin.
Source: (USBR, 2015: 2)
Key events and agreements in US–Mexico Colorado River relationship in the twenty-first century
Scope of Mexican participation in Colorado River Basin
CRJCP stakeholder engagement process.
Source: Adapted from (Cullom, 2018)
Article
Transboundary collaboration between the United States (US) and Mexico in the Colorado River Basin has heightened in recent years, as climate change, population growth, and overallocation threaten the long-term stability of the region. Through a combination of document analysis and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, we examine patterns of change in the governance of the Colorado River, as the US and Mexico navigate socioeconomic, cultural, and political asymmetries to jointly share water over the past two decades. We ask: What key events and environmental agreements have influenced transboundary water governance in the Colorado River over the past 20 years? We draw on the rich scholarship on transboundary water governance, especially around international river basin organizations, to uncover patterns of engagement and collaboration over time. We focus on the binational scale with an eye to study governance at multiple scales including interactions and impacts at the national and subnational scales. Our findings illustrate how Mexico’s role has evolved from a narrow one following a strict interpretation of the 1944 Treaty toward a more creative partnership between the US and Mexico demonstrated in binational negotiations and the creation of joint solutions to emerging challenges around water conservation and ecological restoration. We find transboundary water governance in the basin is influenced by both long-term and short-term contextual changes that can inform strategies key actors employ to bolster institutional resilience and take advantage of opportunities for transformative change. Further, we find that the evolution of the binational relationship is reflected in changes in the negotiation process and structure, which highlights the importance of trust and relationship building, transparency, joint fact-finding, and information sharing to foster collaboration. However, we also find uneven institutionalization of stakeholder participation and transparency in engagement patterns that may ultimately, serve to hinder governance and cooperation in the basin.
 
Annual status of humanitarian funding from UN resident agencies in North Korea (East–West Center, 2020), unit: US Dollar (FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization, WHO: World Health Organization, UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund, WFP: World Food Program, UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund)
Article
The private sector in North Korea is virtually non-existent, and typical forms of grass-root Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) required for forestry carbon trading are not recognized. The state regulates the local forest communities and labor market through central planning and control. Previous researches tend to target grass-root NGOs that were established voluntarily after democratization, while implicitly excluding a state-supervised organization in which residents are members. This paper demonstrates that the carbon benefits secured by forestry projects could be negotiated by a non-voluntary state-supervised organization initially established as a resident watch-dog. Since state-supervised organizations in recipient countries can play a key role in educating grassroots citizens on the true role of NGOs, originated from democratized western countries, this paper will be a valuable reference for accommodating beneficiary obligations specified in multilateral funding. Although North Korea has been selected as a case study for this paper, this kind of peaceful intervention is relevant to other countries that face similar state-supervised resident organizations in implementing multilateral funding projects.
 
Location of the study lakes in the Rift valley
Education levels of respondents around the study lakes.
Source Field survey
Article
The Ramsar wetland sites are important habitats for biodiversity and provide ecological services to communities that otherwise have no access to water resources. In Kenya, some wetlands are more prominent and are recognized worldwide as tourist hot spots, biodiversity-rich zones and wildlife habitats. However, these wetlands face overexploitation and degradation from surrounding communities. The efforts to halt underlying threats and the projected declines in the size and quality of inland wetlands at local levels are not sufficient. The question guiding this study is as follows: to what extent do a Ramsar designation and formal and informal education support communities and institutional efforts in the protection of inland wetlands? This research was conducted at inland wetland lakes of Naivasha, Nakuru and Bogoria that have been designated as Ramsar sites to examine the extent to which existing education has influenced communities’ efforts in protecting wetlands. Primary data were collected via questionnaire from three study sites. Using both descriptive and inferential statistics, a logistic regression to determine the significance of various predictor variables, including education, for changes in biodiversity as a proxy for wetlands protection outcomes was performed. The results indicated that education, awareness and other key variables that were expected to support wetlands protection had no significant impact on changes in biodiversity. The study concludes that the designation as Ramsar Convention-protected status alone cannot stop the degradation of inland wetlands in an environment where existing formal and informal education has not empowered communities and institutional efforts.
 
Renewable energy legislation foundation
Proposed system of legal regulation of renewable energy
Article
The study, through the prism of comparing various government practices, critically examines the problems of Russian legislation and policies in the field of renewable energy sources, such as problems of fragmentation, obsolescence and lack of legislation. The article examines the current legislation, which establishes incentives for the development of renewable energy. The research question consists in assessing the applicability of current international practices in the field of regulation of the use of renewable energy sources in the context of the modern Russian legal system. Through the use of comparative legal method, the study analyzes foreign experience and considers the possibility of its implementation in the national legal system. The conclusion is drawn on the main directions of improving the economic and legal regulation of incentives for the development of renewable energy in Russia. In addition, the international cooperation of countries in the field of renewable energy was carefully studied, and a conclusion was drawn on the insufficient regulation of the industry by international law. Conceptually, the law on renewable energy should be based on comprehensive international energy law. From a practical point of view, different paths can create individual rules or principles for renewable energy. It is legal norms that have become the object of research. The analytical framework used in this article is based on both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The purpose of the article is twofold: to analyze the main legal aspects of the use of renewable energy sources in Russia and to evaluate the existing political context that affects their development and settlement. The practical significance of the work done is that the results obtained can be applied in the process of making legislative acts in the field of the use and development of renewable energy sources.
 
Article
Environmental terrorism is a new global threat. The modern period of society's development is characterized by an increase in this threat, where terrorism in the traditional view evolves and takes on new outlines. When defining the concept of environmental terrorism, the role of the criminal-legal definition of a crime is of particular importance, since this ultimately reflects the degree of public danger and is reflected in determining an offender's punishment and its appropriate publicity in the media space. This study examines the genesis of the environmental terrorism concept, as well as various approaches to its understanding, taking into account its legal definition. Using the method of political and legal analysis, the study aims to answer the question of whether ecoterrorism is only a manifestation of radical environmentalism, or has different motives. Taking into account the difference in approaches to the concept of “environmental terrorism,” the study also notes a difference in the qualifications of eco-terrorism. This work gives grounds to assert that the absence of a clearly developed conceptual apparatus and the definition of this term in international acts complicates the solution of issues of countering such a phenomenon as environmental terrorism. The study concludes that the concept of environmental terrorism should be considered in terms of its connection with the concept of environmentalism. Terrorist acts that use natural objects (resources) as a political goal should be considered and qualified separately from the environmental terrorism concept because of the differences in the legal nature of these two phenomena. In practical terms, this study is of interest to subjects of political initiative and lawyers engaged in public administration.
 
Main goals of Espoo Convention
Article
In the construction industry, there are many risk management models, the purpose of which is to bring the project to full implementation, namely to minimize possible violations of project deadlines, deviations from the quality of work, reduce financial costs and so on. However, contractors and subcontractors are faced with a high level of risk when implementing a construction project. The problem is that contractors have formed problem-solving systems that are purely local, which means they are intuitive and unsystematic and cannot extend beyond local initiatives and construction solutions. Besides that, the construction industry forms a whole list of environmental problems, such as excessive consumption of energy resources, changing landscapes and an increase in household and industrial waste. Construction can have a significant impact on the local environment and the energy intensity of the built-up environment could increase significantly over the next decade. The concept of environmental impact assessment, introduced by the Espoo Convention, is directly related to the concept of risk management, since it involves minimizing them at the initial stages of the implementation of construction projects. According to the Convention, the assessment procedure should be carried out at an early stage of planning (Paragraph 3 Article 2 of the Convention). The purpose of the study implies to consider environmental impact assessment as a successful construction risk management tool. This study is designed to analyze the effectiveness of the Convention’s mechanisms in practice in risk management and create a reliable legal background for developing an innovative integrated and systematic method of assessing risks in the implementation of a construction projects. The implementation of such an integrated approach is primarily aimed at preventing the causes of the risk and not at eliminating the consequences of existing risks in current and potential infrastructure projects, the activities of which fall under the scope of the above-mentioned Convention.
 
Article
The past few years have witnessed a growing interest among scholars and policy-makers in the interplay of international bureaucracies with civil society organizations, other non-profit entities, and the private sector. This article extends the state of research by investigating whether and how secretariats try to strengthen their reputation within their respective policy regimes through information provision and alliance building. Based on reputation theory, the article argues that ties cultivated with stakeholders as well as appearance and presentation of information are decisive in this regard. Methodologically, the study implements a mixed-methods design that combines a quantitative survey with social network analysis and qualitative content analysis of interviews with stakeholders within the climate and biodiversity regime. We show that the secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) maintain relationships with a wide range of state and non-state actors to enhance their reputation. Moreover, different types of actors receive different types of information from the two secretariats studied. Our findings reveal that both secretariats use their limited resources for investing strategically into networks with different types of actors (in the broader transnational policy network), either via the tailored provision of information or through strategic networking with multipliers. They also indicate that reputation does not simply depend on characteristics of bureaucracies, but also on framework conditions and different communication strategies.
 
Article
The past few years have witnessed a growing interest among scholars and policy-makers in the interplay of international bureaucracies with civil society organizations, other non-profit entities, and the private sector. This article extends the state of research by investigating whether and how secretariats try to strengthen their reputation within their respective policy regimes through information provision and alliance building. Based on reputation theory, the article argues that ties cultivated with stakeholders as well as appearance and presentation of information are decisive in this regard. Methodologically, the study implements a mixed-methods design that combines a quantitative survey with social network analysis and qualitative content analysis of interviews with stakeholders within the climate and biodiversity regime. We show that the secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) maintain relationships with a wide range of state and non-state actors to enhance their reputation. Moreover, different types of actors receive different types of information from the two secretariats studied. Our findings reveal that both secretariats use their limited resources for investing strategically into networks with different types of actors (in the broader transnational policy network), either via the tailored provision of information or through strategic networking with multipliers. They also indicate that reputation does not simply depend on characteristics of bureaucracies, but also on framework conditions and different communication strategies.
 
Representation of the chains and of the decisions of the groups for each session
Individual average claim and average belief (€) per treatment
Article
The most evident shortcoming of the international agreements on climate actions is the compliance to their prescriptions. Can John Rawls’s social contract theory help us to solve the problem? We apply the veil of ignorance decision-making setting in a sequential dictator game to study the compliance to climate change agreements and we test the model in a laboratory experiment. The veil of ignorance shows to be very powerful at inducing the subjects to converge on a sustainable intergenerational path. However, the voluntary compliance to the agreement still remains an open issue, because even small incentives to defect can undermine the compliance stability, and therefore break the whole sustainable dynamic.
 
Top-cited authors
Joyeeta Gupta
  • University of Amsterdam
Courtney Vegelin
  • University of Amsterdam
Frank Biermann
  • Utrecht University
Aarti Gupta
  • Wageningen University & Research
Oscar Widerberg
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam