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Problem-Shifting between International Environmental Treaty Regimes: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

Descrizione del progetto

Spostamento del problema ambientale globale

Ogni mese i governi di tutto il mondo si riuniscono per prendere decisioni importanti volte a risolvere i problemi ambientali globali. Tuttavia, le decisioni prese spesso portano a nuovi problemi ambientali, talvolta anche più gravi e permanenti, fenomeno noto come «problem-shifting», ovvero lo spostamento dei problemi legati alla questione ambientale globale. Con oltre 800 trattati internazionali sull’ambiente attualmente in vigore, la portata e la complessità del problem-shifting ambientale assumono dimensioni preoccupanti e sono destinate ad acuirsi. Il progetto ProblemShifting, finanziato dall’UE, spiega perché ciò si verifica tra i trattati in questione ed esamina gli effetti sistemici del fenomeno sulla governance ambientale globale. Basandosi sui risultati ottenuti, il progetto offre soluzioni innovative per la governance che contribuiscano a far sì che i nostri sforzi per l’ambiente a livello globale abbiano un impatto positivo netto.


International environmental treaties (e.g. Paris Agreement) are designed to solve specific environmental problems. Yet their potentially negative impact on environmental issues other than their own is rarely studied. Until now global governance theories have assumed that environmental treaties are inherently ‘green’, and hence, any adverse consequences are conveniently set aside as unintended or inevitable. But is that true? Here I question, do environmental treaties ever pursue their objectives by merely shifting problems to others? If so, when and why? Does such buck-passing create any systemic risk beyond those directly affected? And what might be appropriate responses to ensure our efforts add up to a net positive impact? Environmental problem-shifting, or protecting one part of the environment by damaging another, is a major dilemma arising in global governance. Yet the issue remains under-investigated, requiring an urgent scientific inquiry. PROBLEMSHIFTING will thus examine the causes and consequences of, and provide solutions to, environmental problem-shifting between international environmental treaty regimes. By drawing on my interdisciplinary and multi-method expertise in 'earth system' law and governance, I will (1) identify and explain conditions under which problem-shifting occurs; (2) assess and predict systemic effects of problem-shifting; and (3) offer solutions for optimizing the currently fragmented governance system. The project aims to advance the theoretical debate on the architecture of global governance and its overall effectiveness. The scientific breakthrough will be enabled through methodologically innovative combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods, including process tracing, comparative case studies, network analysis, system dynamics modelling, and multi-stakeholder workshops. Building on the theoretical and empirical foundations, I promise unique insights and valuable advice to markedly improve global governance decisions.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-STG - Starting Grant


Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 1 495 000,00
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Paesi Bassi

Mostra sulla mappa

West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Altri finanziamenti
€ 0,00

Beneficiari (1)