ABSTRACT

The previous chapter focused on country characteristics, such as democracy and income, as well as international factors pertaining to trade openness, membership in IOs, and contingent behavior to explain international environmental commitment. The analysis thereby left aside whether treaty specifics could also have an independent effect; could the treaties themselves alter countries’ cost/benefit calculations with regard to joining environmental treaties? A cursory look at the texts of international treaties reveals that international environmental agreements are not designed in a homogeneous way. Environmental treaties vary to a great extent in terms of their legalization, that is, with regard to precision and depth of obligations, as well as compliance mechanisms set forth therein. Some treaties do not require states to implement any changes in their policies, whereas others require major changes.