Since SAR, political science analysis in the field of effectiveness and implementation of international environmental agreements has focused on the process of implementation. That is, how intent is translated into action to solve international environmental problems and what are the real effects of these efforts (Sand, 1992; Haas et al., 1993; Young, 1994, 1999; Brown Weiss and Jacobson, 1998; Victor et al., 1998). Analysts distinguish implementation and compliance (Chayes and Chayes, 1993, 1995; Mitchel, 1994; Jacobson and Brown Weiss, 1995; Cameron et al., 1996; Underdal, 1998; Victor et al., 1998; Brown Weiss, 1999). See Box 10.1. for the definition of political science terms.
|Box 10.1. Definitions of Political Science Terms
Although compliance is an important matter for the outcome of an agreement, it has to be distinguished from the effectiveness of the accord (Underdal, 1998; Victor et al., 1998; Brown Weiss, 1999; Young, 1999). This refers to the extent to which the commitment actually influences behaviour in a way that advances the goals that inspired the commitment.
Discussions are underway on how to enforce international commitments, that is to make parties to the international treaties conform with their international obligations through application of various tools (penalties, sanctions, etc.). Some researchers argue that enforcement might be especially difficult in international systems and, thus, is often unlikely unless a party persistently fails to comply18. Besides, non-compliance is frequently the product of incomplete planning and miscalculation rather than a wilful act (Victor et al., 1998). Thus, enforcement is often contrasted to the management of non-compliance and implementation failures (non-compliance is a problem to be solved, not an action to be punished), which includes greater transparency, non-adversarial forms of dispute resolution, technical and economic assistance, persuasion, and negotiation (Haas et al., 1993; Chayes and Chayes, 1995; Sand, 1995; Downs et al., 1996; Zürn, 1996; Peterson, 1997; Victor et al., 1998; Vogel and Kessler, 1998). However, there are also good reasons to consider coercive enforcement techniquesin cases of severe violations they may be more effective. In this debate, standard solutions do not exist and a mixed approach seems to be reasonable.
The challenge today is how decisions regarding compliance and implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol should be undertaken to make these international mechanisms more effective in solving the problems of both combatting global climate change and changes in the behaviour of the targets (Victor and Salt, 1995; ORiordan and Jäger, 1996; ORiordan, 1997; Soroos, 1997; Grubb et al., 1999). Two crucial aspects of decision-making regarding implementation of the international climate change regime are:
Continues on next page
Other reports in this collection