:Assess The Effectiveness Of An International Environmental Regime Of Your Choosing, In Relation To Its Objectives, And Explain Its Level Of Success Or Failure Using One Or More Variants Of Regime Theory.


Environmental regimes are dedicated arrangements that are entrenched into the deep structure of international culture. The essential features of the current structure must be compatible with the arrangements in order to be effective (Underdal, 2008; Conca, 2006). As a result of human environment interactions, international environment regimes are formed which govern two or more members of an international culture (Young, King & Heike, 2008). The present essay will analyse the effectiveness of international environmental regime and its level of success. For the purpose of analysing the environmental regime, United Nations environmental program has been chosen as case and will be discussed in context of Montreal protocol agreement. The essay will analyse the evidence provided by various researchers regarding the effectiveness of the agreement and its implications as well.



Environmental regime is observed to be complex and is associated with a diversity of other features and formulation (Underdal, 2008). But, the effectiveness of different regimes strengthens over time. At times regimes are not so effective but gradually gain power over the passage of time. The core concerns of regimes are economic efficiency, equity fairness, sustainability as well as the concept of good governance (Mitchell, 2008).

In order to observe the effectiveness of regimes, three factors must be considered important namely, outcomes, output and impact (Underdal, 2008). Procedures, regulatory measures, administration are formed in order to implement regimes. The output or productivity includes these factors (Mitchell, 1994). The result or outcome is a specific behaviour which is attributed to the process of the regime (Young, 1999). The contributions that regime used to solve specific problems fall under the category of impact. These, moreover, include the factors that made the regime at the beginning (Mitchell, 2008).


United Nations environmental regimes

United Nations environmental program has played a vital role since its development in 1972. It has established many agreements which include Montreal protocol on substances that deplete ozone layer and further developed ten principles of environmental law and guidelines. UNEP was found in 1973 which had a broad mandate consisting of environmental issues at a global level (UNEP, 2011).

In December, 1972, UNEP was founded by The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) subsequent to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. The newly founded organization (UNEP) resolution was to encourage global collaboration in the arena of the environment and to commend suitable strategies related to this resolution. It also aimed to offer universal strategy regulation for the course and management of environmental curriculums in the United Nations structure. The UNGA purpose to inaugurate the UNEP secretariat was to assist as a pivotal idea for ecological movements and synchronization inside the United Nations organization. UNEP functions as the fundamental motivating and directing figure related to the environmental arena within the Unites Nations scheme. UNEP has a commanded to show distinctive considerations to the condition of evolving states. In agreement with its contract, the UNEP secretariat stays comparatively minor in contrast to further United Nations figures. United nation environmental program’s Environmental Law Division deals all of UNEP's additional events related to the environmental law (Chasek, 2010).

Farman (2001) research reveals, in agreement with the several resolutions of the Leading Committee, the environmental law of United Nations environmental program has focused on a vast array of worldwide ecological issues. UNEP enrolled, discussed, and acquired acceptance and entrance into potency of the Vienna Convention for the security and safety of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol. United Nations environmental program currently functions as the secretariat for these contracts. On the bases of Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol, United Nations environmental program is formulating an outline contract on international climate variation. UNEP is commending this scheme in collaboration with additional UN organizations, more specifically, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

UNEP is presently mounting contracts that act as shelter to tap financial and further scopes deficient in prevailing global lawful regimes for protection of organic diversity. UNEP has established non-binding strategies on the usage of collective regular assets and on environmental impact assessment (EIA). The UNEP Governing Council is pursuing the opinions of administrations on the requirement for advance growth in the EIA unit (Parks & Roberts, 2010).

UNEP's greatest noteworthy ecological law accomplishments have been the “Vienna Convention” and “Montreal Protocol”. Theoretically, the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol establish an extremely operative regime for decreasing and most probably in the forthcoming, eradicating discharges of ozone layer diminishing elements. In Contrast to furthermost additional ecological agreements, the Montreal Protocol also comprises financial inducements to boost contribution and acquiescence (Haas, 1993). It complementary offers for valuation of its effectiveness and for reformation.

Bauer (2013) put forth, the Montreal Protocol is the dominant global regulator mechanism. The parties have decided to create an operational group to cultivate commendations regarding the purpose and values of nonconformity. “The Montreal Protocol practices three types of provisions by means of financial enticements to motivate contribution in and agreement with the Protocol's control regime. This comprises of admission into force supplies, grip on business with non-parties and investigation and knowledge transmission remunerations. Although the Protocol might have utilized other kinds of monetary enticements, every individual of these types of provisions targets to create constant manufacturing of ozone terminating CFCs less cost-effective, however improving the marketplace for harmless alternatives.

Montreal Protocol offers that eleven states demonstrating two-thirds of worldwide ingesting of measured elements requisite to consent the Protocol beforehand it might pass in force. Therefore, the Protocol generates an association of customers who regulates the ingesting market, and who have decided to decrease their ingestion (DeSombre, 2000).

 Farman (2001) states the Montreal Protocol progressively forbids business in measured materials with non-parties. Subsequently, non-party manufacturing states will similarly bear decreasing petition, with parallel effects on costs, revenues and manufacture. The Montreal Protocol's consumption controls should hasten these developments. Consumer countries that are not associated must therefore discover better accessibility of harmless alternatives, which they can acquire lawfully from countries associated to the Protocol. The expenses for these alternatives must grow viable as manufacturers in associated countries move to manufacturing alternatives despite of creating measured elements. The Protocol endorses knowledge transmission to associates who are emerging states, thus proposing financial enticements for emerging countries to participate and conform. Under the study of DeSombre (2000), the advantages of knowledge transmission must advance the capability of recently developed manufacturing states to enter the mounting alternatives market. Moreover, nations that are situated in humid weathers, where claim for coolants is apparently great, must be concerned in increasing indigenous manufacturing of alternatives to decrease dependency on costly importations. The benefits of gaining expertise to cultivate indigenous manufacture, along with the problems of gaining products from other non-parties, must boost emergent states to associate with the protocol (De Stefano et al., 2012).

With the passage of time, nevertheless, if the Montreal Protocol upsurges rivalry in the alternatives if business, manufacture might move to lesser corporations fewer vulnerable to these agreement forces (Derwent, 1998). Optimistically, the Protocol's financial incentives, along with amplified international responsiveness of the ozone layer issue, will endure to nurture acquiescence with these considerably desirable control methods.

The Montreal protocol set both the second and first generation ozone depleting substances. The agreement aimed to restore the ozone layer by deleting ODS production and to encourage alternative substitutes. Clean air act program was announced in 1990 for the objective of successfully implementing the plan. A complete phase out of the ODS might occur in 2040 (EPA, 2007). ODS are found in chemical stockpiles, foams and refrigerators too. But, they are not released in to the atmosphere as emanation.

The effectiveness and success of Montreal protocol and its features has marked a great impact on ODS and ozone layer as well. The ODS absorption is declining after reaching a height in 1990 (Mader et al., 2010). ODS are further assumed to be greenhouse gases and there elimination reduce the radioactive force of the climate of the earth by 0.8–1.6 W m22 by 2010 (Velders et al., 2007).

Game theory provides the useful layout of the international treaty that builds effective cooperation. According to game theory, states unite to maximize individual welfare. The choice of one state can affect the welfare of another state (Cumberlege, 2009).  It can be said that Montreal protocol established the game to increase payoff and cooperation. This agreement allowed both the parties to continue to play the game and included high rate of certainty that the states will do this act.

Three factors were considered important in order to observe the effectiveness of the regime namely outcome, output and impact. UNEP formulated regulatory measures that formed the Montreal regime. Additionally, the result of the agreement was positive and made constructive outcomes. The agreement was able to solve problems related to the environment and made a positive impact in society as well.

Independent decision making power was given to the organization and it was observed that due to lack of legal independence as well as funding power proved to be harmful for its effectiveness and success in order to face challenges. The main cause of weakness of UNEP was observed to be its limited authority and funding features (WRI, 2002; Ivanova, 2010).

It is observed that over the last few decades, the emerging challenge in environment has caused the development of many environmental agreements within and outside UN arena (Kanie, 2007). There are nearly 500 MEA’s and many are severely challenged due to lack of funds and administration management in addition (Ecologic, 2004). Funding challenge has prevented many organizations to fully implement the plans for improving the environment.

Enhancements can be developed in such a way that the effectiveness of environmental governance can be created and overall efficiency of the UN can further be observed. Broader reforms can be established with in the current institutional setting. UNEP must be equipped with funds, budget and authority to carry out tasks in order to improve environment and meet challenges successfully.

UNEP maintains its status as a programme by following a separate decisions making structure. Many countries have argued that a programme is observed to be flexible and lively, and is able to focus on environment throughout the decision making process (Ivanova, 2007). The important point under consideration is the environment issues, and whether the weak funded programmes are the right craft to improve the environment (M€ader et al., 2010).

DeStefano (2012) states the Montreal Protocol has been extraordinary in its aptitude to convey nearly all the globe’s countries into a contract that essentially alters the means under which industrialized action proceeds. It displays all symbols of ultimately retreating the ecological issue that triggered its formation, regardless of the circumstance that no ecological special effects were evident after the protocols started. The contract has completed over the formation of flexible mechanisms that may be able to adjust the fluctuating knowledge and legislations, through the usage of manufacturing enticements, and by advanced and standard setting techniques to take emerging countries into the international governing procedure.

According to Thoms (2000), the accomplishment of the Protocol could be summarized in 5 facts: (1) global scientific collaboration and agreement; (2) an incremental strategy procedure; (3) the objectives and schedules methodology; (4) participation of a multidimensional organization and (5) acknowledgement of the communal but distinguished accountability code for emerging countries

According to Mossos (2005), the Montreal Protocol places restrictions on the manufacturing and utilization of ozone reducing substances, generates a managerial system to impose these restrictions, and entails periodic calculations of these parameters. The Protocol also involves that all nations assured by its requirements obliged to prohibit distribution and introductions of ozone reducing affluences on a staggered base to and from states that are not associated to the Protocol. From its primary 24 participant states, there are presently 188 nations that have approved the Montreal Protocol and its schedule to decrease and condense ingestion of ozone diminishing affluences.


Subsequently its commencement, the United Nations Environment Program has donated significantly to the growth of global environmental law. Its methodology has remained primary to articulate systematic positions, formerly cultivate legal policies, and in the course sensibly construct political sustenance. A significant element of this method has been UNEP's intervention of 'soft law' strategies or philosophies as a prologue to the progression of obligatory global law. UNEP's milestone in 1987 “Montreal Protocol” on materials that diminish the Ozone Layer procured a vital initial stage in this course (Chasek, 2010).


It is evident to note that environmental regime is a complex structure and has many features and formulations too. From the above discussion various insights regarding the effectiveness of environmental regime was observed.  Moreover, it is a fact that the effectiveness of regimes strengthened over time and gained power as well. United Nations environmental program maintains a sustainable structure both in administration and decision making process. The success of Montreal protocol can be seen in the efficient reduction of the global emissions (WMO, 2007). Moreover, it is a fact that the environmental regime is concerned with economic efficiency and equity fairness along with a concept of good governance. UNEP is able to maintain and sustain its status by providing good acts and principles regarding the maintenance of environment.
















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