By Guri Bang, Jon Hovi and Detlef L. Sprinz
Since 1990, there has been a build up of 13 MEAS that successive US Presidents have signed, but which have still not been been ratified. Four of these, famously including the Kyoto Protocol, have never even been submitted to the Senate at all.
Why this tendency for US Presidents to sign treaties, which then languish unratified and unimplemented? Why is US ratification of MEAs apparently so hard to achieve?
And there are implications, of course, as we embark on negotiations on a new legal instrument under the Durban Platform. What if the Durban outcome suffers the same fate as the Kyoto Protocol: Presidential approval, followed by Senate rejection? Should US ratifiability be a key objective of the Durban Platform negotiations? Or should negotiators assume that the US will never ratify a meaningful climate change treaty, and plough on regardless?
These questions, and more, are addressed by Guri Bang, Jon Hovi and Detlef Sprinz in their article “US presidents and the failure to ratify multilateral environmental agreements”, published in the Climate Policy Journal (Vol. 12, no.6, p.755-763)
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