Ozone Depletion

The Emergence of Universal Participation

With the verbal model constructed (stage 1), formally assessed (stage 2), and operationalized, the analysis can move to stage 3—empirical case studies. Indeed, the empirical target of this book and its explanation remain relatively simple:

• A norm calling for universal participation arose in the midst of the ozone depletion negotiations, altering U.S. behavior and the foundations of governance for ozone depletion.

• Once internalized, this norm subsequently shaped the foundations of the governance of climate change—influencing the U.S. actions and the negotiations of the FCCC in 1992.

• The universal participation norm evolved post-FCCC and continued to affect the governance activities that produced the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

In this chapter I use the enhanced norm life cycle and the insights of the computational model to explain in detail the first transition—from North-only participation to universal participation. Simply put, the understanding of an appropriate global response changed in the ozone depletion negotiations.

The transition itself is abundantly clear. In 1986 fewer than thirty states met to begin negotiating an ozone protocol—the Montreal Protocol (MP) agreed to in 1987. In 1989 more than one hundred states attended the first negotiating session for amending the MP. The understanding of required participation for this "global" environmental problem underwent a radical transformation in the course of the negotiations. In both 1986 and 1989, the parties understood that they were negotiating responses for a global environmental problem, yet in a matter of four years, the intersub-jectively understood necessary level of participation dramatically rose. The label, "global," did not change. The understanding of what global entailed did change. The end result of this alteration was a new understanding of appropriate participation for the next global environmental problem to appear on the international agenda—climate change came to require universal participation in negotiations and responses.

Ozone depletion did not have to become a problem requiring universal participation. This vision of ozone depletion, advocated by Mostafa Tolba, came to fruition through the processes of social construction and complex adaptation captured in the NLC/CAS framework and the modeling exercises. This chapter contains an in-depth look at the ozone depletion negotiations and the U.S. role in them, and it demonstrates that the expectations of the constructivist/complex adaptive framework are met:

• A norm entrepreneur advocating universal participation and development concerns emerges and makes suggestions that alter the social context—at first destabilizing an extant norm (North-only) and then lowering the social complexity and making a new understanding possible.

• The United States adopts this new idea as its operating rule only after existing rules have been weakened through negative evaluation.

• The universal participation/development assistance rule becomes ingrained after positive evaluation.

The norm life cycle/CAS framework captures the flow of events and provides a plausible explanation of the transition to universal participation exhibited in the ozone depletion negotiations. However, frameworks (and models for that matter) discuss events in discrete, concrete terms that do not fit perfectly with the actual events that transpire. Frameworks are clean; politics is messy. That being said, the case study of the ozone depletion negotiation provides significant evidence that the norm life cycle/CAS framework is an appropriate way to approach the politics of ozone depletion and other global environmental problems.

In this chapter, I first present an overview of the ozone depletion negotiations and detail the initial normative context within which they took place. I then explore U.S. behavior in the negotiations that culminated in the Montreal Protocol (MP) as well as the evolving normative context in this period. I next examine the U.S. evaluation of the MP and trace the U.S. transition to an understanding that addressing global environmental problems requires universal participation. I conclude with a look at the protocol amendment negotiations and the post-MP evolution of the normative context.

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