Date: 05 Oct 2012

Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson, and Geir Hønneland (Eds): International environmental agreements: an introduction

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The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro marked a watershed moment with the creation of international environmental treaty regimes, which have evolved into a regular feature of global environmental governance (Chasek and Wagner 2012). This conference admittedly unleashed new energy to global attempts to address escalating environmental and developmental crises, as indicated by the proliferation of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) during the past two decades (O’Neil 2009). Despite the euphoria of the time, the subsequent failure of the international community to set the world onto a more sustainable path of development has raised pressing questions about whether expectations around global environmental policymaking are now misplaced when attached to such treaty regimes.

Scholars have taken somewhat different approaches when evaluating the role of MEAs in advancing effective multilateral intergovernmental governance. While some look at aspects of actual performance, others take ...