Why are successful outcomes to environmental negotiations hard to achieve?
Environmental conservation talks represent a struggle of man against his own actions. As Sjöstedt (2008) notes, environmental problems are largely anthropogenic. This means that the environmental degradation we witness today is as a result of human activities, which include agriculture, industrial production, transportation, mining, heating of buildings, among others. Unfortunately, pollution does not only occur within the polluter’s own borders, but permeates to other countries. Often, this means that other countries in the region get to suffer the consequences of the positive economic values that a polluter country gains from emissions. Often, such issues breed conflict, and over the years governments and private actors have adopted negotiations as the ideal way to solve environmental conflicts (Sjöstedt, 2008).
In order to understand why successful outcomes to environmental negotiations are hard to achieve, one must first understand the special properties that characterize such negotiations. According to Sjöstedt (2008), environmental negotiations attract non-governmental organizations and various transnational actors who ostensibly represent public opinion in the negotiations . However, the unique properties that call for negotiations usually include: 1) international environmental conflicts; 2)negative consequences brought by an environmental issue; 3) manipulation or appropriation of scarce resources by governments; and 4)Human activities that drive respective governments to agree or disagree about working together in order to reduce the effects of the human activities on the environment.
According to Christer & Aggestam (2008), diplomacy is the international institution that follows specific fundamental norms for purposes of providing procedure for inter-course between countries. Some of the norms upheld in diplomacy include: