© 2015 – Routledge
Civil society participants have voiced concerns that the environmental problems that became apparent at the multilateral environmental agreements of the 1992 Rio processes are not serving to ameliorate global environmental problems. These concerns raise significant questions regarding the utility of negotiating agreements through the UN. This book elucidates the complexity of how participants engage in these negotiations through the various processes that take place under the auspices of the UN – primarily those related to climate, biodiversity and forest agreements.
By providing concrete examples of how it is that civil society participants engage in making policy, this book develops a robust sense of the implications of the current terrain of policy making—both for the environment, and for the continued participation of non-state actors in multilateral environmental governance. Using data gathered at actual negotiations, the book develops concepts such as participation and governance beyond theory. The research uses participant observation ethnographic methods to tie the theoretical frameworks to people’s actual activities as policy is generated and contested.
Whereas topics associated with global environmental governance are traditionally addressed in fields such as international relations and political science, this book contributes to developing a richer understanding of the theories using a sociological framework, tying individual activities into larger social relations and shedding light on critical questions associated with transnational civil society and global politics.
1. Introduction 2. Overview of UN Negotations 3. Civil Society Participation in Climate Change Negotations 4. Biotechnology and Geoengineering: Industry interests, climate concerns and civil society engagement 5. Negotiating the Shifting Terrain: The politics of forests in an era of growing climate concern 6. Sustainable Development to Green Economy 7. Conclusions
Global environmental governance has been a prime concern of policy-makers since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Yet, despite more than 900 multi-lateral environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years and numerous public-private and private initiatives to mitigate global change, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching alarming levels. Scientists see compelling evidence that the entire earth system now operates well outside safe boundaries and at rates that accelerate. According to a recent scientific assessment organized by the international Earth System Governance Project (ESGP), human societies must change course and steer away from critical tipping points that might lead to rapid and irreversible change, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. The urgent challenge from a social science perspective is how to organize the co-evolution of societies and their surrounding environment, in other words, how to develop effective and equitable governance solutions for today’s global problems.
Against this background, the Routledge Research in Global Environmental Governance series delivers cutting-edge research on the most vibrant and relevant themes within the academic field of global environmental governance. In more detail, the areas of interest of global environmental governance research constitute:
The overall institutional and organizational structure of Global Environmental Governance