The Broader Policy Perspective

Implementation of the Kyoto Treaty should take place within the context of a broader perspective on the evolution of international policy institutions. Rapid and significant initiatives are taking place in this broader context. Globalization, for example, is causing economic policymaking and implementation to be increasingly beyond the reach of national economic policymakers. The loss of national sovereignty over economic policy is the source of much contemporary concern in this country, as it is elsewhere.

When policymaking and implementation move beyond the reach of national economic policy, a process of bifurcation follows. Some part of economic policymaking and implementation shifts up to the international level and becomes embedded in international organizations and institutions. Another part shifts down to the state and local level and becomes embedded in organizations and institutions at that level.

The policy milieu is currently in a rapid state of flux as shifts occur as to where policymaking and implementation take place. Reform is needed at all levels of the process if we are to make efficient use of our resources and provide for an equitable distribution of income (Schuh, 2003). This provides an opportunity to do the institutional design needed at each level to address global warming. In addition to the design work that is a policy imperative, there is much analytical work to be done in sorting out the problems unique to the international, national, and state and local levels. That analysis has to be the starting point for the institutional work.

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