| FNI PROJECTS
The Role of the UN in Global Environmental Governance:
Potential for Increased Effectiveness?
This research program,
which was a strategic institute program (SIP) financed by the Research Council
of Norway, had as its point of departure the dominating role of the UN in
global environmental governance. There is hardly any multilateral environmental
agreement (MEA) negotiated without the active involvement of one or more UN
bodies. There has, however, been significant criticism of the UN for lack of
effectiveness in its work: The number of MEAs is constantly growing but there
is no significant improvement in the global state of the environment. What is
the potential for increased effectiveness on the part of relevant UN
The UN was studied both as an actor and as an arena. The arena
function was studied primarily in terms of the role and significance of the
global conferences on environment and development. Here it was concluded that
they have played a significant role in several ways but that their significance
has been reduced over time. Alternative and novel approaches should be
considered. Concerning the actor dimension, most attention was paid to UNEP
and its role in coordinating MEAs. Although UNEP has certain strengths,
not least in terms of legitimacy among developing countries, based on
preliminary findings there are also considerable weaknesses in terms of
The role of the UN in implementing MEAs was also studied,
with a main focus on the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The main case
study was China, the largest recipient of GEF funding. There is no doubt that
GEF has made considerable contributions to China's environmental policy and
planning, but there are considerable differences across issue
Project leader: Steinar
Andresen, Steinar and G.
Kristin Rosendal, The
Global Environment Facility (GEF): Right Mechanism for Improved
Implementation?. FNI Report 4/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 22
Andresen, Steinar and G. Kristin Rosendal,
'The Role of the United Nations
Environment Programme in the Coordination of Multilateral Environmental
Agreements'. In Biermann, Frank, Bernd Siebenhüner and Anna
Schreyögg (eds), International Organizations and Global Environmental
Governance. London, Routledge, 2009, pp. 133-150.
(guest ed), 'The Role of UN in
Global Environmental Governance: Potential for Increased Effectivenss?'.
International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics,
Special Issue, Vol 7, No 4, 2007, pp. 317-468.
'The Effectiveness of UN
Environmental Institutions'. International Environmental Agreements:
Politics, Law and Economics, Vol 7, No 4, 2007, pp.
Heggelund, Gørild and Ellen Bruzelius Backer,
'China and UN Environmental Policy:
Institutional Growth, Learning and Implementation'. International
Environmental Agreements, Vol 7, No 4, 2007, pp. 415-438.
G. Kristin, 'Norway in UN Environmental
Policies: Ambitions and Influence'. International Environmental
Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Vol 7, No 4, 2007, pp.
Andresen, Steinar, 'Key Actors in UN Environmental
Governance: Influence, Reform and Leadership'. International
Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Vol 7, No 4, 2007,
Kaasa, Stine Madland, 'The UN Commission on Sustainable
Development: Which Mechanisms Explains Its Accomplishments?'. Global
Environmental Politics, Vol 7, No 3, 2007, pp. 107-130.
utvikling mest prat?' ('Sustainable Development Mostly Just
Talk?'), Dagsavisen, 16 June 2007. In Norwegian.
Tora, Steinar Andresen and Jon Hovi (guest eds),
'Special Issue: The Negotiation and
Effectiveness of International Environmental Agreements'. Global
Environmental Politics, Vol 6, No 3, 2006, 143 p.
Skodvin, Tora and
Steinar Andresen, 'Leadership
Revisited'. Global Environmental Politics, Vol 6, No 3, 2006, pp.
Andresen, Steinar and Ellen Hey, 'The effectiveness and
legitimacy of international environmental institutions'. International
Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. Vol 5., No 3, 2005,
Andresen, Steinar and Ellen Hey (guest eds), 'Special Issue
on International Agreements'. Special Issue, International Environmental
Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. Vol 5., No 3, 2005, pp.
Heggelund, Gørild, Steinar Andresen and Sun Ying,
'Performance of the Global Environmental
Facility (GEF) in China: Achievements and Challenges as Seen by the
Chinese'. International Environmental Agreements, No 5, 2005, pp.
Kaasa, Stine Madland, The
Commission on Sustainable Development: A Study of Institutional Design,
Distribution of Capabilities and Entrepreneurial Leadership. FNI report
5/2005. Lysaker, FNI, 2005, 67 p.
Rosendal, Kristin and Steinar
Andresen, UNEP's Role in Enhancing
Problem-Solving Capacity in Multilateral Environmental Agreements:
Co-ordination and Assistance in the Biodiversity Conservation Cluster.
FNI report 10/2003. Lysaker, FNI, 2004. 29 p.
Gulbrandsen, Lars H.,
'FNs konferansediplomati om miljø
og utvikling. Fra normdannelse til handlingslammelse?' ('UN Conference
Diplomacy on Environment and Development. From Initiation to Inaction?').
Internasjonal politikk, Vol 61, No 1, 2003, pp. 3-28. In
Heggelund, Gørild M., The Significance of the UN
Global Conferences on Chinas Domestic Environmental
Policy-making. FNI report 11/2003. Lysaker, FNI, 2003, 23 p.
The Research Council of
|Recent media coverage:
'Skyhøy tillit til FN'
('Norwegians have confidence in the United Nations'), Aftenposten, 14
November 2005. Norwegian version