Why Are International Agreements Hard To Achieve

Scott Barrett: “Heterogeneous international environmental agreements,” in C Carraro, (ed,), International Environmental Negotiations: Strategic Policy Issues, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 1.126 While there were no specific requirements to report to Parliament or Canadians on the achievement of results in the five environmental agreements, responsible services have, in some cases, used their departmental performance reports to report on international environmental agreements. However, in most cases, the reports focused on departmental activities or initiatives, not on environmental outcomes. We found an exception: with respect to the ozone schedule, Environment Canada provided information in its performance reports on the xenon content of soil in major cities and the concentration of clean air pollutants. 1.22 The government`s transfer policy requires the use of a results-based management accountability framework under a federal grant or contribution funding program. In addition, the government generally encourages its use for key policies, programs and initiatives. However, there are no other formal requirements to use this framework or similar tools. It is up to the relevant spring services to use the necessary financial resources to define the expected environmental outcomes and performance for their agreements. 1.31 The scope of the review was limited to what is described in the previous paragraph. We did not examine the government`s compliance with international environmental agreements, the effectiveness of programs or ways to achieve their objectives, the pace or progress in addressing environmental issues, or the accuracy or quality of information used by departments. The context and difficulties of any agreement we have reviewed also differ, which is why we must be careful not to generalize our knowledge to all of Canada`s international environmental agreements.

1.77 We are aware of the magnitude of the challenges in terms of waiting and measuring environmental outcomes with respect to pollution caused by ships, particularly with regard to the vastness of the maritime areas concerned. The Department indicated that, although the United States has provided estimates of the effectiveness of MARPOL, it is not aware of other countries that have been successful in assessing the impact of MARPOL on the actual amounts of oil released into their waters, intentionally or otherwise. In this context, the government needs to be more transparent and make it clear to Canadians what progress it reasonably expects. Figure 1 shows this data. The upper line shows the total annual number of international waste transports. The median line indicates imports by non-Schedule 7 countries. In the end, the transfer of waste from Schedule 7 to non-Schedule 7 countries – those that are prohibited by the ban. The trade in waste has increased severalfold and the prohibited shipments in Schedule 7 for the non-annex 7 account for more than a quarter of this growth. 1.119 Our five case studies provided additional information on the responsibility of responsible services for the outcome of their agreements. We found that, overall, there is no significant difference between the way the federal government manages and takes into account environmental policies and objectives set out in international environmental agreements and those defined elsewhere.

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