The Emergence of Global Environmental Politics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – The Emergence of Global Environmental Politics PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 718152-OWYyM


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

The Emergence of Global Environmental Politics


The Emergence of Global Environmental Politics How climate change became a central socioeconomic issue Take away concepts What is the Tragedy of the Commons and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:315
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 43
Provided by: Peterd200
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: The Emergence of Global Environmental Politics

The Emergence of Global Environmental Politics
  • How climate change became a
  • central socioeconomic issue

Take away concepts
  • What is the Tragedy of the Commons and how
    relevant is it to modern environmental issues?
  • What factors led to the rise of the importance of
    environmental politics?
  • Factors affecting global environmental policy
  • Compare and contrast conventional vs. ecological
    views of economic activity.
  • Compare and contrast scientific vs. political
  • What is an environmental policy life cycle?

Biosphere2 - A lesson in humility
  • 200 million facility designed to be a
    self-sustaining life-support system.
  • 3.2 acre enclosed facility, many ecosystems,
    water and air recycling
  • Experiment in sustainability and complex systems.
  • Eight scientists sealed into Bio2 in 1991 - for 2
  • What happened?

  • O2 levels dropped (due to unset concrete),
    additional O2 pumped in. CO2 levels dangerously
  • Nutrient cycling didnt work effectively
  • Tropical birds died after the first freeze.
  • 19 of 25 small mammals became extinct.
  • Facility overrun by Arizona ant which killed off
    introduced insects. Insect pollination stopped.
  • Cost 200 million for eight people over 2 years
  • 12.5 million per person annually failed to do
    what the earth does for free

Tragedy of the Commons metaphor
  • Garrett Hardin (1968) seminal article
  • Ruination of a limited resource when confronted
    by unlimited access by an expanding population.
  • Modern reference to Medieval English farmers use
    of pasture commons

Premise(Common property resource management
  • All farmers have access to enclosed commons
  • Farmers motivated () to maximize herd
  • Increased herd --gt real unit profits
  • No (apparent) cost for commons use
  • Population growth coupled to increased resource
    use leads to overgrazing, erosion, eventual
    destruction of the commons.
  • Conclusion Freedom in a commons brings ruin to

Common-Pool Resource Characteristics
  • Common Pool Resources
  • Exclusion is difficult and joint use involves
  • Excludability
  • Ability to control access to resource
  • For many global problems it is impossible to
    control access
  • Subtractability
  • Each user is capable of subtracting from general
  • Inherent to all natural resource use.
  • How do these apply to Hardins premise?

Hardins proposed solutions
  • Socialism
  • but natural ecosystems suffered most in
    communist countries
  • Privatization, or free enterprise
  • doesnt work efficiently either

Four property rights systems
  • State Property
  • Total control over (national) resources, but
    dangers of over-regulation (Ex Forests).
  • Communal Property
  • Self-regulation works at local levels (Ex Native
    American salmon)
  • Private Property
  • Rational exploitation of resource. Costs
    benefits accrue to the same owner (Ex Oil
  • Open Access
  • Open oceans, atmosphere, biota (ex whales -
    depletion occurred rapidly). Most global

  • Pasture model very provocative but not
  • Assumes open access and no excludability
  • Demand was allowed to exceed supply, unchecked.
  • Resource users were incapable of altering the

Examples of Common-Pool Resources
  • Global oceans and atmosphere
  • Global Climate system
  • Biodiversity
  • Ocean Life
  • Deep seabed minerals
  • Stratospheric ozone layer
  • Antarctica
  • What are some others?

Common-Pool Resources of Earth
Costanza et al., 1997
Putting a Price on Nature
(trillion US)
Soil formation 17.1
Recreation 3.0
Nutrient cycling 2.3
Water regulation and supply 2.3
Climate regulation (temperature and precipitation) 1.8
All other services 1.6
Habitat 1.4
Flood and storm protection 1.1
Food and raw materials production 0.8
Genetic resources 0.8
Atmospheric gas balance 0.7
Pollination 0.4
Total value of ecosystem services 33.3
Costanza et al., 1997
Comparing Goods Services
  • The planet provides many goods and services for
  • Annual cost were we to do it 33 Trillion
  • Nearly all of this is outside the market system.
  • Global GDP (1997) 18 Trillion

How is pollution a Commons problem?
  • Inverse of pastureland problem (putting in, not
    taking away)
  • Unit cost of polluting is much less than cost of
    proper disposal.
  • Like other Commons, problem is compounded by
  • The propriety of actions must be evaluated within
    the context of current conditions

and Shared resources
  • Extend across exclusion boundaries
  • Non-renewable resources
  • Migratory animals
  • Complex ecosystems (rainforests)
  • Global atmosphere and ocean quality
  • Regional seas, lakes, rivers

Inexhaustible resources of the ocean(McVay,
Meyers and Worm, 2003
Challenges of the Global Commons
  • Global scaled up problem
  • Global culturally diverse
  • Global interwoven resources
  • New discovery - accelerating rates of change
  • Requirement of unanimous agreement as collective
    choice rule
  • Time is not our friend

Ostrom et al., 1999
Science and Policy Communities
  • Scientific enterprise
  • Inquisitorial system
  • Data collection, interpretation, revision
  • Data --gt hypothesis --gt theory --gt law
  • Search for truth, following physical laws
  • Truth through data collection, estimates of
  • Medium Published papers
  • Motivation Recognition and advancement
  • Accountability Peer review
  • Time-frame Open-ended

Science and Policy, cont
  • Policy-makers
  • Adversarial system
  • Search for compromise, not truth
  • Compromise through negotiation
  • Medium Instruments Convention, Protocol,
    Frameworks, MOUs
  • Motivation Legal compliance, achieving
  • Accountability Legal and public opinion
  • Time-frame Usually fixed, rigid

  • Scientists and policy-makers have very different
    motivations, time-frames, accountabilities, and
  • Differing motivations Inquisitive vs.
    Adversarial -
  • a dominant source of misinformation.
  • Successful resolution of global environmental
    problems needs the input from both communities.
  • The problem needs people who can speak with/to
    both communities.
  • This is where you come in...

What factors led to the the rise of environmental
  • Confluence of
  • Global public opinion
  • Degraded urban (and natural) environments
  • economic pressures
  • scientific observations and monitoring
  • well-timed natural climate anomalies
  • International political leadership

Environmentalism emerges
  • Social movement in the 1960s
  • 1963 Silent Spring (R. Carson)
  • 1967Stockholm Conference (114 countries)
  • 1967 Apollo photographs of Earth
  • 1970 first Earth Day
  • The pollution paradigm
  • Local/regional (not global as many issue are
  • Air, water, food, diversity
  • Concerns poisons, litter, population,
  • Cleanup the zero standard

Source Dr. Paul N. Edwards (Univ. Mich)
1970s Pivotal Decade
  • Earth Day (1970)
  • EPA was established
  • Beginnings of sustained climate science and
    policy interaction
  • Limits to Growth (Donella Meadows, 1972)
  • long-term global trends in population, economics,
    and the environment.
  • Supersonic Transport controversy (1970s)
  • Front page news on Ozone depletion

Toward a Global Vision (by way of a national
  • UN Conference on Human Environment (1972)Studies
  • Critical Environmental problems (1971)
  • Mans Impact on Climate (1972)
  • Global monitoring networks for CO2, pollutants
  • 1973 Natural climate anomalies
  • Sahel Drought, Peruvian anchovy failure
  • Soviet Wheat crop failure
  • 1974 Oil Crisis
  • Dept. Energy Formed
  • 1977 Carbon Dioxide Impact Assessment
  • First sustained anthropogenic climate change
    research effort

Events leading to enhanced awareness of Climate
  • Human modification of the atmosphere
  • Radioactive fallout, (since 1940s, 1960s)
  • Supersonic Transport and strat. clouds (1970s)
  • Ozone depletion (EPA bans aerosol can CFCs,
  • Nuclear Winter debates (1982-1985)
  • Chernobyl (1986) - impacts W. Europe
  • Antarctic Ozone hole (1985)
  • Summer, 1988 Heat, drought, water shortages
  • Sea ice and ice sheet melting

  • US Global Change Research Program
  • Proposed by Reagan in 1989 (Bush, 1990)
  • 2 billion annual budget
  • About half of the total world research effort
  • Predominantly satellite-based programs
  • Allows administrations to learn more about the
    problem, potential impacts, and mitigation
    strategies (but significant US policy action has
    been deferred)

Taking Action IPCC
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Established in 1988
  • UN Environmental program
  • World Environmental Program
  • Assess the State of the Art in climate science
  • Represents all interested parties
  • Scientists, Governments, NGOs
  • The role of the IPCC is to assess on a
    comprehensive, objective, open and transparent
    basis the scientific, technical and
    socio-economic information relevant to
    understanding the scientific basis of risk of
    human-induced climate change, its potential
    impacts and options for adaptation and

IPCC (cont)
  • 2500 of the worlds leading climate scientists
    and technical experts contribute reports.
  • Produce comprehensive and balanced assessments of
    climate change science, impacts, and adaptation
    and mitigation options.
  • Extensive peer-review and governmental review
    ensures scientific credibility and policy

IPCC Reports
  • four IPCC Reports
  • 1st 1990
  • 2nd 1995
  • 3rd 2001
  • 4th AR 2007
  • Each Report has 3 Working Groups
  • Scientific Aspects of Climate Change
  • Socioeconomic impacts and Adaptability
  • Mitigation measures

Economics and Environmental Policy Old
  • Economics and resource availability/quality are
    linked fundamentally, but how?
  • But most economic systems do not reflect resource
    use or ecological degradation
  • Frontier Economics Nature consists of a set
    of effectively unlimited resources humans are
    separate from ecology.
  • Based on Neoclassical economics, which assumes
  • Free market will always maximize social welfare
  • There is an infinite supply of resources (as
    sinks for waste)
  • (Provided the free market is operating and
  • This view has been under attack since the 1960s

GNP/GDP are misleading measures
  • GNP/GDP poor measures of economic and societal
  • They hide (do not include) the environmental
    effects of producing and distributing goods.
  • They dont include the depletion of natural
    resources/assets, environmental services upon
    which all economies depend.
  • Actually including these (and related) costs
    would fundamentally alter economies

Economics and Environmental Policy New
  • Paradigm shift (1970s-present) Neoclassic
    Economics --gt Sustainable Development
  • Economic growth cannot proceed at the expense of
    earths natural capital and life-support systems.
  • The world economy must live off earths
  • Economic systems should include costs of
    resource use.
  • Means
  • Reduce consumption
  • Improved efficiency
  • Reduced population
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Renewable resource management

Economic Solutions (to accommodate environ.
  • Mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon
  • Regulation
  • Subsidies
  • Withdrawing harmful subsidies
  • Tradable rights
  • Green taxes
  • User fees
  • All have Innovation, Competitiveness, Govt cost
    and revenue implications

Global Environmental Politics
  • Not a level playing field, yet states must strive
    for concensus
  • Main determinants of policy
  • Veto Power and Coalitions
  • Trade and Self-interest
  • Economic power
  • Public opinion
  • Negotiation (bargaining) among stake-holders

Environmental Policy Life Cycle
  • Recognition
  • Identifying and quantifying the problem
  • Formulation
  • Finding solutions
  • Implementation
  • Implement solutions to mitigate problem
  • Control Monitoring
  • Assess impact of policy, revise as necessary

International Regimes
  • Set of norms, rules, or decision-making
    procedures which lead to convergence of opinion.
  • Convention Legal instrument containing binding
  • Framework Convention Establishes the groundrules
    for cooperation without binding obligations.
  • Protocols Establishes more formal, specific
  • Non-binding agreement Soft law, varying degrees
    of effectiveness (Marine Pollution)

1992 Earth Summit on Sustainability
  • UNCED - AGENDA21. UN Conference on the
    Environment And Development
  • Held in Rio, 1992 (150 nations, 10,000
  • Preceded by two years of discussions on domestic
    and global issues, inequities, and
  • Final negotiating session at Rio - AGENDA21
  • Global plan of action for more sustainable
  • Non-binding agreement
  • Industrialized countries asked to accept
    responsibility to change their unsustainable
    lifestyles - met with resistance.

Preamble to AGENDA21
  • Humanity stands at a defining moment in history.
    We are confronted with a perpetuation of
    disparities between and within nations, a
    worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and
    illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of
    the ecosystems on which we depend for our
    well-being. However, integration of environment
    and development concerns and greater attention to
    them will lead to the fulfillment of basic needs,
    improved living standards for all, better
    protected and managed ecosystems and a safer,
    more prosperous future. No nation can achieve
    this on its own but together we can - in a
    global partnership for sustainable development.

AGENDA21 as example of how environmental policy
rapidly becomes complicated
  • US and other developed nations failed to commit
    resources to support sustainable development.
    Blocked proposals to change consumption patterns.
  • Developing countries blocked establishment of
    norms for forest management.
  • Many issues had split responses from developed
    and developing states (e.g. climate change and
    oil producing (inland vs. coastal) states).
  • AGENDA21 set into motion progress toward
    sustainability - first transparent conference.
  • Environmental issues are now becoming dominant
    factors in global politics

What is Columbia doing about this?
  • Prof. Jeff Sachs, Director of Columbias Earth
  • CEI Mission
  • Mobilizing the sciences and public policy to
    build a prosperous and sustainable future.

Columbia Earth Institute
  • Some CEI Initiatives
  • UN Millennium Development Goals
  • Millennium Villages
  • 21st Century Cities
  • El Nino Climate and Society
  • Abrupt Climate Change
  • CO2 sequestration
  • Global Roundtable of Climate Change
  • Masters and Ph.D. programs
  • Ph.D. and PoS in Sustainable Development