The Third World in Global Environmental Politics

The Third World in Global Environmental Politics

The Third World in Global Environmental Politics

The Third World in Global Environmental Politics

Synopsis

"Both the North and the South have significant stakes in the global environment, but they bring differing interests and agendas to the bargaining table. An inequitable global economic system and the internationalization of economies have reduced Third World countries' control over the disposition of their resources and affected their strategies in global environmental negotiations. Focusing on these issues, Miller traces the efforts of developing countries to influence evolving environmental regimes. Negotiations regarding hazardous waste trade, biodiversity, technology transfer, and atmosphere and climate serve as case studies." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The environment looms large on the global political agenda. The increased attention is the result of several factors: increased awareness of the environmental damage caused by economic activity; rapid population growth; the perception of the earth as a single biosphere; and, more recently, the end of the Cold War.During the past few decades, the scientific community has uncovered new information on the environmental consequences of humankind's interaction with the earth. Much of this has found its way into the popular media. As a consequence, the public has some familiarity with issues such as global warming, ozone depletion, nuclear pollution, and hazardous waste disposal. This period has also seen accelerating population growth, growth that has thrown into stark relief the problems caused by the inadequate supply of food and resources in certain localities and by the maldistribution of food on a global level.

In the past, food and resource shortages were perceived primarily as local or national problems and, consequently, as the responsibilities of many different jurisdictions. But this has changed because of the new perception of the earth as a single biosphere. There is an awareness that actions in one part of the world can have implications for resource availability in distant areas. For example, a poorly managed nuclear power plant in one country can damage people and crops thousands of miles away. Similarly, each country's decision regarding the use of fossil fuels will have implications for global warming and for life on earth. As a consequence, many issues that were initially regarded as matters of local concern are increasingly becoming issues of global concern and, therefore, the subject of international politics. Finally, the end of the Cold War has allowed the environment to rise on the global agenda.As military security issues loom less large on that agenda, more attention is paid to issues of environmental security. This change was illustrated by the unprecedented gathering of 118 heads of state at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

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