What Is the Problem with International Agreements
Launched in 2002, the Database on International Environmental Agreements (BIDEA) lists the texts, compositions and design features of more than 3,000 multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements. Using IAI data, we provide a comprehensive overview of developments in international environmental law, including changes in the number, issues and governmental adherence to EIAs over time. By providing IEA texts, the IDB helps scientists systematically identify and program IEA design features. We examine IEADB`s spin-off research on international environmental policy, including perspectives on IEA membership, education and design, as well as the deeper structure of international environmental law. We highlight the value of EBID as a pedagogical tool to promote teaching and research for students and graduates. The structure and content of EBEA opens up both broad areas of research and specific research questions, making it easier for scientists to use EBEA to answer the questions that interest them most. In an article in the next opening issue of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (Kellenberg and Levinson 2014), we look at a specific IEA that allows us to address both issues – the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. The convention was adopted to address concerns about so-called “toxic trade”, i.e. shipments of waste from developed countries to parts of the world where disposal is likely to be less safe.
Although the disposal of hazardous wastes is a local problem and does not require international cooperation, trade restrictions can be a second-choice policy if some countries cannot adequately regulate disposal or prevent import themselves. Accordingly, the amendment to the Prohibition of the Convention prohibits any export of hazardous wastes from countries listed in Annex 7 (all OECD and EU countries, as well as Liechtenstein) to all other countries not listed in Annex 7. Kyoto Protocol, 2005. The Kyoto Protocol [PDF], adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, was the first legally binding climate agreement. It required developed countries to reduce their emissions by an average of 5 per cent compared to 1990 levels and established a system to monitor countries` progress. But the treaty did not force developing countries, including major carbon emitters China and India, to take action. The United States signed the agreement in 1998, but never ratified it and then withdrew its signature. In short, the failure to uphold the global environmental rule of law is based, at least in part, on issues at the state and international levels.
The lack of capacity and, in some cases, the motivation to effectively implement these policies at the level of individual States, and the absence of effective enforcement mechanisms at the international level, both contribute to the inability of the international community to implement environmental governance, as documented in the UN report.  The IDB census IS BASED ON THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSED ADDITIONS AGAINST CLEAR DEFINITIONS OF EIAs operationalized as inclusion/exclusion rules, an essential process given the diversity of documentary sources. The admission rules for “agreement” and “international” are simple: documents are called “agreements” when their language shows that states designed them to be legally binding (for example. B, the language at entry into force) and “international” when they identify two or more governments as eligible for membership. We identify documents as an “environment” using an inductive process of creating a list of keywords that match the general understanding of the environment. The lead author first completed this list by identifying the words in the titles and preambles that seemed to best explain their inclusion in the original documents from which they were identified. We added keywords to this list because the scope of environmental agreements has expanded or has not been included in the assessment of IEA agreements where the environment was clearly a major concern. The list of keywords is deliberately mistaken about an overly broad definition of the environment (for example. B, including some EIAs related to agricultural issues or nuclear energy), as scientists can more easily exclude agreements to create their preferred and narrower definitions than they can identify agreements that correspond to broader agreements. Each IEA`s IDB documents record the keywords used to identify them as environmental; The extraction of all these keywords allows users to determine the current operationalization of “environmental agreements”.
The IDB documents the status of each IEA as an agreement, protocol or amendment. It assigns each multilateral (with bilateral treaties in the future) to one or more of the eight thematic categories (species, pollution, freshwater, habitat, energy, climate, human sphere and others), and it identifies each IEA with a single “line” of EIA to which it is legally linked to capture the evolving governance efforts of groups of states to solve an environmental problem. We also assume that not all parties will comply with their international obligations. Presumably, variations in the implementation of the treaty depend, among other things, on the interests of states and their political capacity not to comply with their obligations (Bernstein and Cashore 2012). However, we still do not know whether the adoption of contracts usually involves national legal action or what could lead to the implementation of contracts. A recent study commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development “shows a significant lack of knowledge on the implementation of environmental provisions in [trade agreements]” (George and Yamaguchi 2018, 2), and the same could be said for BAIs. Also note that most of the coefficients are much larger than the coefficients we reported for the total case in Table 2. This is not surprising: we would expect a much clearer relationship between contracts with obligations in air transport and national legislation on air transport than to lump everything together. In this sense, the results illustrate the added value of the breakdown by topic and the important contribution of this article to the literature. We are aware that assessing environmental impacts away from contracts is an attractive proposition for those who care about the state of the environment. However, it is difficult to establish a causal relationship between contract acceptance and problem solving.
Despite the use of sophisticated techniques, the causal chain linking treaty adoption to containing environmental degradation remains long, indirect and uncertain. Due to the complexity of social, political, economic and natural systems, there are several intermediate, mediating, moderating and confusing variables that can lead to an overestimation or underestimation of the effectiveness of contracts (Bernstein and Cashore 2012). For example, a number of recent statistical analyses have revealed a link between the signing of APTA and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and suspended particulate matter (Baghdadi et al.