Location of Repository

A world environmental organization?

By John Whalley and Ben Zissimos


We evaluate possibilities for a new World Environmental Organization (WEO), with our discussion motivated both by recent calls for such an organization in light of WTO trade and environment conflicts and the relative absence of internalization of global externalities. We propose an organization building upon the idea of facilitating Coasian deals on the global environment. This contrasts to attempts to agree on a statement of global principles, as in the Rio declaration and Agenda 21 as the main vehicle for global environmental improvements. To motivate the establishment of such an organization, we itemize the ways in which global environmental deals are presently restrained by various impediments, including free riding, property right ambiguities, and mechanisms for authentification and verification. We indicate how such a WEO might help in each of these areas, stressing the differences from the WTO which is a much narrower bargaining framework. We conclude with a discussion of why the developing countries might or might not be interested in such a proposal, and emphasize their potential both to secure significant resource transfers in exchange for environmental concessions, and to cooperate in bargaining with the WEO as a focal point and secure sharply better terms. We note, however, both their broad systemic concerns over another global agency which they fear might be used to pressure them, and what some countries see as the inability of such an entity to deal with their central concerns in the area; namely ameliorating internal environmental problems via transfer of technology. We conclude by arguing that a WEO can offer joint benefits; raising environmental quality for those willing to pay for it, and acting as a vehicle for securing transfers of resources in return for environmental commitments

Topics: GE, JZ
Publisher: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2062

Suggested articles



  1. (1997). (eds.) The Way Forward: Beyond Agenda 21, doi
  2. (1994). Agenda 21, The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio,
  3. (1992). Challenging conventional explanations of international cooperation: negotiation analysis and the case of epistemic doi
  4. (1993). Earth Summit Agreements: A Guide and Assessment, doi
  5. (1993). Eco-regimes: Playing tug of war with the nation-state”
  6. (1994). Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements, doi
  7. (1997). Environmental NGOs and regime change: The case of ocean dumping of radioactive waste”, doi
  8. (1992). Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination: Introduction”, doi
  9. (1994). Formation of international environmental agreements”, doi
  10. (1991). Global Environmental Change and International Governance: Summary and recommendations of a conference held at Dartmouth college.
  11. (1996). Global Environmental Politics, 2 nd Edition,
  12. (1998). Green energy facilitated? The uncertain function of the Global Environmental Facility”, Energy and Environment,
  13. (1989). International Cooperation: Building Regimes for Natural Resources and the Environment, doi
  14. (1996). Issue Linkage in Global Environmental Problems”, Economic policy for the environment and natural resources: Techniques for the management and control of pollution, New Horizons in Environmental Economics series.
  15. (1996). Issue Linkage, doi
  16. (1994). Making Trade and Environmental Policies Work Together: Lessons from
  17. (1997). Media, Culture and the Environment London: doi
  18. (1994). Mortgaging the Earth: The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment and the Crisis of Development, doi
  19. (1967). On the Optimum Externality”,
  20. (1994). Ozone Discourses, doi
  21. (1995). Policy Coordination for Sustainability: Commitments, Transfers and Linked Negotiations”, doi
  22. (1993). Protecting the ozone layer” doi
  23. (1994). Responding to global warming: The technology, economics and politics of sustainable energy, doi
  24. (1990). Saving the Mediterranean: The Politics of International Environmental Cooperation, doi
  25. (1994). Self-enforcing international environmental agreements”, doi
  26. (1993). Strategies for the International Protection of the Environment”, doi
  27. (1994). The Earth Brokers: Power, Politics and World Development, doi
  28. (1924). The Economics of Welfare. doi
  29. (1993). The GEF and the conventions on climate change and biological diversity”, International Environmental Affairs,
  30. (1997). The Global Commons: A Regime Analysis,
  31. (1994). The Greening of Machiavelli: The Evolution of International Environmental Politics, doi
  32. (1991). The international community's claim to rights in doi
  33. (1986). The International Politics of Antarctica London: Croom Helm. doi
  34. The international politics of climate change”, doi
  35. (1997). The International Politics of Global Warming: A Non-Governmental Account,
  36. (1989). The internationalization of environmental regulation”,
  37. (1995). The Politics of Global Atmospheric Change, doi
  38. (1960). The Problem of Social Costs”, doi
  39. (1996). The scope for east-west cooperation”
  40. (1994). Towards a winning climate coalition”, doi
  41. (1998). Who CoPed out at Kyoto? An assessment of the Third Conference of the Parties to the FCCC' doi
  42. (1980). Why collaborate? Issue linkage and international regimes”, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.