Reforming International Environmental Governance: From Institutional Limits to Innovative Reforms

Sample Chapter
  • Edited W. Bradnee Chambers and Jessica F. Green

    ISBN-10: 92-808-1111-8,
    ISBN-13: 978-92-808-1111-7
    United Nations University Press
    June 2005

    More than 500 international agreements and institutions now influence the governance of environmental problems ranging from climate change to persistent organic pollutants. The establishment of environmental institutions has been largely ad hoc, diffused, and somewhat chaotic because the international community has addressed key environmental challenges as and when they have arisen. The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 underscored the need to reform the current institutional framework for environmental governance, but failed to come up with any substantive recommendations.

    This book takes up the question left unanswered at Johannesburg: what international institutional framework would best promote the protection of the global environment? The contributors take a systematic approach to formulating proposals for institutional changes in international environmental governance and examine three potential models: enforcement, centralisation, and co-operation through increased co-ordination and collaboration. They review alternative institutional arrangements to address identified weaknesses, they elaborate upon specific reform proposals generated through recent policy debates, and they evaluate the potential of each proposal to remedy current weaknesses within the international environmental governance system.

    Reforming International Environmental Governance provides useful information about the costs and benefits of different models and approaches to reforming international environmental governance and contributes substantive analysis to future debates.

    W. Bradnee Chambers is a Senior Programme Officer at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, Yokohama, Japan.
    Jessica F. Green is a researcher in the Sustainable Development Governance Programme at the United Nations University Institute of Advance Studies, Yokohama, Japan.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction and Overview
  • From Environmental to Sustainable Development Governance: Thirty Years of Coordination within the UN
  • Full Centralisation: A World Environment Organisation
  • Clustering of Multilateral Environmental Agreements: Potentials and Limitations
  • Strengthening International Environmental Governance by Strengthening UNEP
  • The Role of the WTO
  • Judicial Mechanisms: Is There a Role for a World Environment Court?
  • Reforming the UN Trusteeship Council
  • Expanding the Mandate of the UN Security Council
  • Contributors
  • W. Bradnee Chambers
  • Jessica F. Green
  • Steve Charnovitz
  • Sebastian Oberthuer
  • Richard Tarasofsky
  • Gary P. Sampson
  • Joost Pauwelyn
  • Catherine Redgewell
  • Lorraine Elliot