Overview The Ozone Depletion Negotiations Of 19861990

Most analyses of the ozone negotiations have been critically concerned with cooperation and effectiveness.1 These studies examine the interests, power, and behavior of the major actors (both sovereignty free and sovereignty bound),2 assess the impact of scientific knowledge, and investigate the structure of the negotiations themselves; searching for the factor(s) that led to successful cooperation and/or effectiveness. In contrast, the main thrust of this book explains the conditions for cooperation—the foundations for the governance of both ozone depletion and climate change. I am thus more concerned with exploring how certain fundamental ideas about participation arose and were internalized in the United States than I am with the substantive issues of addressing ozone depletion or cooperation. I explore how the underlying intersubjective understanding of the problems evolved. Therefore, I focus on two connected stories about participation in the ozone depletion negotiations— the evolving normative context and the evolving U.S. rule models.

Between 1985 and 1990, both the normative context and the U.S. rule models for participation underwent significant, linked alterations. The rhetoric of the times obscured the changes that occurred, but they remain noteworthy. Scientists discussed ozone depletion as a global problem from its very introduction on the environmental agenda.3 As a 1985/86 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report put it, "Ozone layer modification is a global phenomena which affects the well-being of every country in the world."4 However, the requirements associated with the label "global" were very different in 1985 than they were a mere four years later. In 1985, there were a number of ways to conceive of global environmental problems, and states had yet to begin conceiving of ozone depletion through a truly global (as universal) prism. This changed radically as the ozone negotiations progressed, and by 1989 ozone depletion had come to require universal participation with significant consequences for how states would engage ozone depletion and subsequently, climate change.

From 1986 through the summer of 1987, the normative political context characterized global as North-only. Both Northern and Southern states understood (either implicitly or explicitly) that Northern states, as the major contributors to ozone depletion, would be charged with negotiating the solution(s) to it. In the summer of 1987 through all of 1988 the normative context underwent a transition period as increased Southern participation eroded the stability of the expectation of North-only participation and fostered the new notion of universal participation. By 1989, universal participation defined the normative political context, with the caveat that universal participation was predicated upon differentiated responsibility between the North and the South. All states should participate in the governance process, but states would participate differently in the concrete actions to solve the problem.

The U.S. rule models went through a similar transformation over this period, though the changes did not correspond temporally. The United States began the ozone protocol negotiations with a participation rule model that matched the normative context, namely, that ozone depletion would be best and most appropriately addressed through Northern negotiations. This rule drove U.S. behavior from 1986 through all of 1987 (through the Montreal negotiations). In 1988, as a consequence of its evaluation of the MP, the U.S. participation rule model went through a transformation, and by 1989 the US rule model called for universal participation. By the summer of 1990, the United States solidly accepted universal participation.

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