New Normative Context for Global Responses

The story of the normative context in this period is less convoluted than the story of the actual negotiations, though the two are inextricably linked. In 1988, multiple states quickly acceded to the new norm, a cascade expected by the constructivist/complex adaptive framework. The South emerged as a critical mass altering the normative context for the rest of the states negotiating the ozone agreements. Their altered practices—taking an active interest in the negotiations and not signing the MP—had a profound effect on what manner of negotiation would be considered appropriate in the 1988-1990 period. The North could no longer expect to achieve Southern cooperation without addressing Southern concerns—without Southern participation in the process. In 1988, Northern states came to recognize the appropriateness of universal negotiations as well. The United States (and other Northern states) replaced its North-only rule model with one that called for universal negotiations.

In 1989, the norm mandating universal participation was solidified through the practices of the agents in the system. The South played a very large role in the negotiations, and was vocal about its concerns for the first time. The U.S. practices reinforced the new norm as well. The U.S. negotiating positions and behaviors shifted focus from disputes with the EU to South-North issues almost exclusively. The United States was seeking to secure Southern participation and addressing the South in the negotiations.

In 1990, the United States internalized the new norm and it began to be taken for granted both within the United States and in the international community at large. The discussions and negotiations shifted from the need to secure Southern participation to the consequences of Southern participation. This was a subtle shift, but by May 1990, all the parties accepted the appropriateness of the Southern presence at the negotiations and the discussions focused on what the South wanted—the consequence of universal participation—rather than the need for Southern participation. The shift in the norm context was the source of the leverage that is usually attributed to Southern states in the London negotiations.203 The "Grand Bargain" that was struck at London—participation in exchange for development assistance—enshrined the common but differentiated responsibility principle and solidified an altered set of expectations about the appropriate way to address global environmental problems.

The nature of the global response developed in the process of governing ozone depletion was relatively specific. The London Amendment to the MP froze the normative context around certain principles.204 First and foremost, the normative context stabilized around the overarching notion of universal participation—all states should participate in governance processes for global environmental problems. The manifestation of the universal participation norm that emerged further enshrined the common but differentiated responsibilities principle and it specified that Northern states should (1) take the lead on concrete actions and (2) support (financially and technologically) any Southern actions. This view of a global response provided a firm foundation for the global governance of climate change to come.

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