In The Development of Environmental Regimes: Chemicals, Wastes, and Climate Change, the authors provide a simple framework to analyze the development of global environmental regimes (GER) which ultimately addresses why states sometimes agree to cooperate on global environmental issues despite divergent interests. The chapter is divided into five subsections but begins with an introduction to explain the five processes involved in the development of GERs. The authors address questions such as who forms GERs and how are they formulated. Next, they apply the processes involved in the development of GERs to four case studies that are linked to global environmental issues: ozone depletion, hazardous waste, toxic chemicals, and climate change, respectively. The authors conclude that states and non-state actors can come together to address global environmental issues but not without obstacles.
This paper is divided into three parts and underlines the key information provided in the respective chapter related to the development of environmental regimes. First, it introduces and summarizes the processes involved in the development of GERs. Second, it briefly illustrates these processes to two case studies provided by the authors; ozone depletion and climate change. Finally, the paper ends with a brief personal reaction, also based on readings from Conca and Debelko’s Institutions of Global Environmental Governance, to add perspective to the final analysis.
Part I: The Developmental Processes
The development of environmental regimes involves a five-fold process. The first process is the agenda setting and issue definition stage, which identifies and brings attention to an issue to the international community. Second, the fact finding stage involves the science, economics, policy and ethics related to the issue. Next, the bargaining stage entails the actors—or states—who negotiate the means & ends and content of the policy to address the matter. Subsequent to the bargaining stage, states and other actors—such as IGOs or NGOs—implement the regime. Finally, along with the establishment of a central convention, the parties involved continually review and strengthen the regime as new information; fact finding, develops. The last stage ultimately becomes the most important stage because it allows for changes to be made in mandates via the addition of binding rules, normative codes of conduct, and procedures. The regime can adopt new protocols to add new goals, amend the original protocols, or make changes to existing amendments or protocol procedures.
The five stages are interdependent and the length of their processes vary, meaning some stages overlap or depend on others and in some cases never end. For example, the fact finding stage continues throughout the development and even after the creation and implementation of a regime—this is notably found in the review and strengthening stage. The results of the regime via...