An International Environmental Policy Takes Shape

In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 3-19.

International environmental problems have now been on the political agenda for more than thirty years. The traditional approach to deal with these problems is to establish multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). There has been a tremendous growth in these agreements and several hundreds now exist. Although some of them have had a positive effect on the problem at hand, overall progress has been limited and existing environmental problems are formidable. This chapter elaborates on the concept of international environmental politics and on theoretical approaches to understanding it. This leads to an account of international cooperation on the environment, its origins and history.