chapter  8
20 Pages

The global dimension to environmental politics

A few simple examples can illustrate this point. If forests are cleared in Nepal, this affects the volume of water that runs off the hillsides into the rivers. An additional burden of silt from the consequent soil erosion results in greater flooding in Bangladesh. This is an environmental problem that requires co-operation across a national boundary for its resolution. Without successful international diplomacy, the environmental problem cannot be solved. This cross-border dimension may be present in a whole range of situations. Sulphur emissions from coal-fired power stations in Britain may be linked to acid rain in Europe and increased environmental stress on native forests. Other environmental problems are global in a more significant sense. The release of ozone-depleting

substances into the atmosphere from a whole range of places across the globe can cause a change in the upper atmosphere that is then experienced as an environmental problem in a number of countries. No single country can solve the problems by its own actions since its individual contribution will be insignificant if other countries continue the unrestricted use of ozone-depleting chemicals. The enhanced greenhouse effect generates a similar global environmental problem.