How do environmental treaties influence international behavior? Deliberate discharges from oil tankers have traditionally been the biggest source of oil pollution from ships, greater than much-publicized accidental spills. Although an international treaty governs how tankers must dispose of oil, compliance has been a problem. Intentional Oil Pollution at Sea is a detailed case study of how international environmental treaties can be made more effective. Combining theoretical analysis with a rigorous empirical evaluation of changes in the compliance process over time, it identifies policies that have increased compliance by governments and the oil transportation industry with discharge restrictions, equipment requirements, enforcement, and reporting.
Ronald Mitchell introduces the debate over environmental treaty compliance, compliance theory, and a history of intentional oil pollution. He then uses a wealth of data to study efforts to change government and industry behavior in reporting on treaty performance, enforcing rules, and complying with equipment and discharge standards. He closes with theoretical conclusions drawn from the empirical analysis regarding the sources of effective treaty compliance as well as prescriptions for policymakers about how to negotiate more effective future environmental agreements.
Knowledge about environmental problems has expanded rapidly in recent decades, as have the number and variety of processes for making large-scale scientific assessments of those problems and their possible solutions. Yet too often scientific information has not been transformed into effective and appropriate policies to protect the global environment. In this book, scholars use a comparative analytic framework and supporting case studies to evaluate the impact of environmental assessments, looking at how, and under what conditions, global environmental assessments influence political and economic decision makers. They find that global environmental assessments are more likely to be influential if the process is perceived not only as scientifically credible but also as salient to policy concerns and as generated through legitimate means. The studies show that although the content of the assessment clearly matters, its influence is often determined more by the process that generated it and by external factors affecting the receptiveness of different audiences. Assessments that involve ongoing interactions among scientists, stakeholders, and policymakers prove particularly likely to influence behaviors.The diverse case studies--ranging from global assessments of climate change and acid precipitation to assessments of sea-level rise in Maine and Hawai'i and climate forecasting in Zimbabwe--embed their findings in contemporary theoretical frameworks while remaining informed by pragmatic policy considerations.Contributors:Liliana B. Andonova, Frank Biermann, David W. Cash, William C. Clark, Aarti Gupta, Ronald B. Mitchell, Susanne C. Moser, Anthony Patt, Noelle Eckley Selin, Wendy E. F. Torrance, Stacy D. VanDeveer