Strengthening the Global Environmental Treaty-Making System

Friday, February 1, 2008

Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Boston, Massachusetts

On February 16, 2008, CBI founder Larry Susskind presented a talk entitled "Strengthening the Global Environmental Treaty-Making System" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This talk focused on the interaction of science and public policy in today's political environment. Using the climate change issue to demonstrate his point, he argued that the policies of some of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world are only exacerbating climate change, and that stakeholders, such as business and environmentalists, need to be incorporated into the scientific studies that influence their policy-making decisions. The way to do this, he asserts, lies in finding a neutral party to act as a conduit between the companies, organizations, and scientists involved.

Professor Susskind also discussed multinational environmental treaties and their inherent flaws. Several major flaws include the lack of penaties for countries that agree to the treaty but later disregard it, the lack of incentive for countries to sign and ratify the treaty in the first place, and the treaties' failure to incorporate goal-based timetables to ensure the issue is being addressed in an effective manner.

Professor Susskind merited mention in several news articles discussing his ideas and was interviewed by James Randerson of the Guardian for a podcast discussing his theories on green treaties in more depth. See the links to the right for more information.