Jun 10, 2019 in Analysis

Factors that Influence the Outcome of the Global Environment Negotiations

Climate change is a major issue in the world today. There is an increasing concern over the rising temperatures that affect the global weather patterns. Countries are locked up in negotiations in a bid to find the solution to this problem. Such negotiations usually result in resolutions and an array of measures to be put in place to check these temperatures. The challenge of reaching agreement on the global definitions of sustainability always arises in the environmental negotiations. The global environmental negotiations outcome basically relies on parties’ interest and power.

 

When two or more nations are involved in a discussion about environmental conservation, many considerations come to play. These factors determine the outcome of the politics of the negotiation process comprise in light of the interest of the actors, power of the players and the number of the players in the negotiation. As the nations cooperate with each other in finding the solution to the common problem, the interest of the individual members of each side is set as a priority. Every nation attempts to protect its citizens in the process of negotiation. 

 

The negotiation of the environmental treaties involves more that the states’ input. There are several players other than the governments involved as the parties in this procedure. The media and the non-governmental organizations are spearheading the lobbying for the global policies on the environment. The media has given environmental issues a different approach in their coverage to influence progressive policies on the same. The media has adopted an innovative method for creating “compliance without enforcement” in order to push the government and influence its decisions on the environmental issues. Science and politics are continuously integrated into the negotiations to guide the process of resolutions to this menace. Environmental management requires the global and regional cooperation.

 

The powers of the actors are very significant when determining the outcome of a negotiation. The more developed countries have a higher bargaining potential compared to the developing countries. The former have more clout in the policy development compared to the latter. The more actors are involved in the negotiation process, the more complex the solution becomes. The interest, views and opinions of all the parties have to be put into consideration.

 

When discussing the power of the parties in the international negotiations, the world is usually faced with three critical questions. The power would determine the outcome of any meeting held on the issue of climate. The question of how the global emission should be cut involves a set of policies that would guide actions and approaches to the environment-focused decisions. As soon as the discussions are held with all the countries involved, the decisions are adopted and ratified. Afterwards, these standards are used to define any actions that would be taken by these nations on their soil. Any legislation and policy formulation made by the member countries must reflect the global discussion on how to cut the environmental pollution. The next significant question is linked to the actions that each country should take in solving this problem. 

 

The other area of concern is the discussion on how much the richer nations ought to give an opportunity for the poorer countries to adapt to the level of global warming and finance activities that are aimed at reducing the emissions. Without the assistance of the developed countries, the developing nations would not have the financial support to enact policies that target the sustainability. The poorer countries, such as Kazakhstan, may not have the means to support the initiatives aimed at preserving the environment. Kazakhstan is one of the developing countries in the world, with fewer industries due to the low- level of development and industrialization. For this reason, the state needs monetary assistance, political good will, and vibrant nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to initiate changes in its environmental management programs.

How National Interests Help Shape the Environmental Politics Outcome

Every country has factors that influence its environmental policy formulation. The initiatives of the government through its various agencies and other bodies will have either a negative or positive impact on the outcome of the plans’ adoption. These plans are subject to political factors in the country, environmental vulnerability, and external pressure. Kazakhstan has the Ministry of Energy and the Agriculture Ministry as a foundation of the environmental protection and preservation.

 

The energy ministry is assigned the role of promoting green energy in the country. The agency supports and undertakes projects that are geared towards the integration of the green energy in the national power program. Under agriculture, the docket is the committee on the water resources. This body is tasked with managing the water resources in this country. The president went a step further by disbanding the Ministry of Environmental Protection and dividing its roles between these two ministries. This circumstance has left the country with no official environmental body that is capable to implement the policies on conservation professionally and effectively. Kazakhstan, for instance, has not been able to manage its water resources efficiently. The region has one of the largest lakes in the world which is currently in a pathetic state. The issue is of enormous impact since this water body serves not only the country but also its neighbors. The neighboring community uses the lake for agriculture, fishing, and other vital functions, namely, as a major source of livelihood. Other than water pollution, the analyzed country also shows tremendous potential for air pollution in the surrounding area. The communities depend on coal for 81% of its energy needs. Coal is not green energy and is one of the leading known pollutants. At a time that the world is moving towards the green energy revolution, more countries ought to enact policies that support these initiatives. 

 

The traditional energy sources, such as oil and coal, are continuously avoided in favor of the cleaner alternatives. The use of coal in the country as a source of energy was one of the major causes of rising temperatures due to depletion of the ozone layer and build up of greenhouse gases. Increased loss of biodiversity was also witnessed around the water body as a result of pollution.

 

 Hence, civil societies need to help in pushing the government to enact policies and programs that are environment-friendly. Unfortunately for Kazakhstan, such monitoring agencies are not very active. This situation does not assist the country in fighting pollution. The Kazakhstan Civil Society is quite inactive. Only 19.7 % of this group responds to social organizations, while 27. 9% participate in the social activities in the country. This country has a total of 36,815 NGOs, but only a small fraction is actively involved in promoting a social change.

 

The NGOs in this country have failed to rise to the duties for which they are determined. Their inactive nature does not help to put the government accountable for the management of the environmental resources. The level of environmental activism is weak in Kazakhstan. The result is the unaggressive nature of the government on the preservation and conservation of the natural environment. The action by the president of Kazakhstan left the country even more vulnerable to environmental pollution. 

 

Countries that are serious with environmental management establish bodies that are adequately funded to undertake this task. They also enact legislation to make the work of these organs easier and provide a policy framework for efficient operation. Other than the supervisory and monitoring roles, these agencies are also assigned the executive roles for monitoring of the breaking of the environmental laws set in the country. The fight against pollution and degradation is a global affair that brings together all the countries which are joined as neighbors or as part of the world system. 

The Role Kazakhstan Played in Negotiations on an Issue

Kazakhstan has been involved in a situation with its neighbors over the environmental problems in the Aral Sea basin. Many agricultural activities in this region resulted in the thinning out of the sea, pollution and salinization. This complex issue became an international problem due to the numbers of players in the negotiations and the vast population whose livelihood depended on the survival of this important water body. The pollution of the lake had contributed to change in the biodiversity in the water body.

 

The malpractices propagated by the companies that operated in this basin made the situation even more topical and acute. These businesses released their wastes into the water body. As a result, they contributed to the water pollution. The emission from the operations of the companies that used coal led to depletion of the ozone layer. This resulted into change in the climatic conditions. The neighboring countries that were also part of this system include Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. These new states as prior members of the Soviet Union had to negotiate on how they would share this primary resource. Keeping this water body from overexploitation and pollution was a problem of utmost importance. With the aid of the international community, these countries were able to plan on how to share this resource and conserve it for continued use.

 

As a response to the external involvement, Kazakhstan led the negotiations on this issue, being the largest economy among the parties involved. The negotiations were closed in 2002, and a specific program was rolled out to that effect. The interest of all the five countries was put into considerations. They had to understand they are one people with common agenda of building their respective countries. To continue gaining the benefits from using the water body, the countries had to care about it adequately. The lake was a lifeline for most of the members of this community, especially those who lived around the basin.

Analysis of Readings

The reading on negotiation and that on cooperation on the environmental issues were fascinating to me. The negotiation process had much insight into how policies are formulated and implemented. I was amazed at the political process that is involved in the negotiations whereas each player was pulling on his or her side while aiming at mutual benefits, at the same time. The cooperation process, on the other hand, required that the parties work together for the common good of their welfares. Looking deeply at the cooperation, it still comes back to the question of mutual gains as an outcome. 

 

The negotiations are not totally free of external interference and sometimes coercion. The international community is always concerned with the state of affairs of every region. The other countries would not sit back and watch one part of the world undergoes environmental degradation due to the inability of some political actors to agree on the issues. They will also give financial support for the settlement to be reached. The policies agreed on at the meeting of the United Nations, or regional bodies have to be implemented by the individual members. Once the protocol has been ratified, it becomes law that guides the enactment of legislation in the countries that are aimed at improving the environmental conditions.

 

 Nations should work together to eliminate pollution as a global concern and make the world a healthier place to live in. Therefore, importance of the negotiation process also borrows from cooperation. Discussion on environmental issues involving more than one country ought to be held with the interest of the citizens above all. The desire for a healthy environment should override all other interests.

 

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