International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia

International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia

International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia

International Environmental Cooperation: Politics and Diplomacy in Pacific Asia

Synopsis

Brings together innovative and insightful studies of international environmental politics in this increasingly critical part of the world. The first section of the book examines many of the issues and actors impacting international environmental co-operation, highlighting important themes such as co-operation between developed and developing countries, international justice, and regional environmental security. This section also illustrates key features of specific multilateral environmental agreements and the competing interests of important national bodies, international organisations, multinational corporations, and non-governmental entities. The second section focuses on environmental diplomacy and regime-building in Pacific Asia, examining issues such as acid rain, nuclear waste, deforestation, and conflict over regional seas. Contributors from Asia, Europe, and North America bring an international perspective to questions of environmental cooperation. INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION provides policymakers, citizens, scholars and students with essential information for understanding and addressing some of the world's most significant environmental problems.

Excerpt

Jack N. Barkenbus

This chapter deals with concerns about environmental degradation in East Asia and its intersection with a particular facet of globalization, namely, trade liberalization. Considerable progress has been made since the early 1980s in eliminating barriers to free trade across state boundaries. Particular success has been achieved in reducing or eliminating costly tariffs that inhibit trade. Many nontariff barriers persist, however, and there is considerable interest in further international negotiations to remove those impediments.

Despite such sentiments, international trade talks are deadlocked. the neoliberal belief that unfettered free trade, through efficient resource allocation, works to the benefit of all is being seriously challenged by the belief that social concerns need to be accounted for in further trade liberalization and in globalization generally. the issue of how the natural environment plays into this is increasingly disputed. the U.S. government and some Western European governments are increasingly seeking to incorporate environmental issues into trade agreements, and nongovernmental initiatives to “green” the international trade regime are becoming more diverse and pervasive. For the most part, however, governments of East Asia are resisting the pressures of governmental and nongovernmental forces in the West. This interstate disagreement, if it continues, could indefinitely postpone further trade liberalization, jeopardize economic growth, and lead to broader political conflict.

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