Over the past four decades there has been an unprecedented concern for environmental issues. During this period, the system of global environmental governance has remarkably evolved. There has been an impressive growth in the number of instruments and institutions addressing environmental problems. New, and often powerful, actors have emerged. New mechanisms of rule setting and implementation that go beyond the traditional interstate cooperation have been set up. However, it has not yet been possible to reverse the continuing environmental degradation.
This introductory course focuses on the evolution of global environmental governance: its history, main features, differences from earlier forms of international cooperation, effectiveness and its possible future.