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Global Environmental Governance

Foundations of Contemporary Environmental Studies

 Global Environmental Governance
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James Gustave Speth and Peter M. Haas

192 pages
Today's most pressing environmental problems are planetary in scope, confounding the political will of any one nation. How can we solve them?

Global Environmental Governance offers the essential information, theory, and practical insight needed to tackle this critical challenge. It examines ten major environmental threats-climate disruption, biodiversity loss, acid rain, ozone depletion, deforestation, desertification, freshwater degradation and shortages, marine fisheries decline, toxic pollutants, and excess nitrogen-and explores how they can be addressed through treaties, governance regimes, and new forms of international cooperation.

Written by Gus Speth, one of the architects of the international environmental movement, and accomplished political scientist Peter M. Haas, Global Environmental Governance tells the story of how the community of nations, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, and multinational corporations have in recent decades created an unprecedented set of laws and institutions intended to help solve large-scale environmental problems. The book critically examines the serious shortcomings of current efforts and the underlying reasons why disturbing trends persist. It presents key concepts in international law and regime formation in simple, accessible language, and describes the current institutional landscape as well as lessons learned and new directions needed in international governance. Global Environmental Governance is a concise guide, with lists of key terms, study questions, and other features designed to help readers think about and understand the concepts discussed.
"With its concise but very thorough treatment of the inherently complex topic of global governance, whether focused on environmental or other issues, this first in the series sets a high bar for the ensuing books."

"Global Environmental Governance serves as an essential primer on the formation of international environmental law and policy...A wonderfully informative account by two of the most respected experts in the field, Global Environmental Governance is not to be missed for anyone looking toward the future of environmental law."

"Speth and Haas have penned a compact, elegant account of global environmental politics, diplomacy, and institutions and their intellectual foundations.  The authors combine insider experience with scholarly perspective, a sense of urgency with a sense of humor…The best book of its kind yet written."
J.R. McNeill, author of Something New Under the Sun

"Speth and Haas take us on an inspiring journey into the world of sustainable development and the global response. Their book is an excellent introduction to a subject of the greatest importance."
Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway

"A superb primer on global environmental trends and their underlying causes, efforts over the past thirty years to deal with them, and possible solutions for the future, including radically new approaches. It would be an excellent starting point for any college environmental policy course."
Norman Vig, Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, Emeritus, Carleton College

Chapter 1. Introduction: Toward Planetary Stewardship
-Stewardship Assignments: A Thought Experiment
-The Real World: Only One Earth 
Chapter 2. Global-Scale Environmental Challenges         
-The Globalization of Environmental Threats      
-Ten Major Global Environmental Challenges     
            Acid Rain and Regional Air Pollution     
            Ozone Depletion           
            Climate Disruption        
            Land Degredation and desertification    
            Freshwater Degradation and Shortages
            Marine Fisheries Decline          
            Toxic Pollutants           
            Loss of Biological Diversity     
            Excess Nitrogen          
-Some Connections among the Issues    
-Underlying Drivers of Deterioration      
Chapter 3. From Stockholm to Johannesburg: First Attempt at Global Environmental Governance   
-The Stockholm Conference: Setting Out           
-Stockholm to Rio: Across New Frontiers         
-The Earth Summit: A peak on the Journey        
-Rio to Johannesburg: A Zigzag Trail     
-The Johannesburg Summit: Too Steep an Incline           
-Concluding Observations         
Chapter 4. Environmental Accord: Treaties and International Environmental Law      
-International Law and Collective Action: The Basics     
-The Ozone Layer Protection Regime: The Little Engine That Could:      
            Problem Identification, Fact Finding, and Agenda Setting          
            Negotiation, Bargaining, and Agreement on Actions to Be Taken          
            Formal Adoption         
            Implementation, Monitoring, Assessment, and Strengthening     
-Treaty Regimes and Other Major Global Environmental Threats           
-Will Climate Protection be the Next Success?  
Chapter 5. Key Actors, Expanding Roles: The United Nations, International Organizations, and Civil Society           
-The United Nations System      
-Development Assistance and the Environment  
-The World Trade Organization, Environment, Trade, and Globalization 
-Civil Society and Governance without Governments                 
Chapter 6. Paths to the Future: A Second Attempt at Global Environmental Governance?     
-Reformist Visions: How to Make the System Work Better        
            Cooperative Environment         
-Reformist Visions: Major Innovations   
            A world Environment Organization       
            Opening the System to the Public         
            Global Issue Networks
-Alternative Visions: How to Change the System
            Addressing the Underlying Drivers: Beyond Dealing with Symptoms     
            Natural Capitalism: Beyond Blinkered Capitalism
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