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Chemical Regulation Policies - Essay Example

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Negotiations within the international political arena are often contentious and can become acrimonious. The reason lies in that the variant actors, or parties to the negotiations represent different, possibly, divergent viewpoints, have conflicting agendas and believe the realization of their national interests to lie in a specific position, not an alternative to it or a compromise upon it…
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Chemical Regulation Policies
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Download file to see previous pages This is precisely the case with the Kyoto Protocol and the supposedly universal or global policy on the use of chemicals and their disposal, it gave rise to. Focusing on the mentioned, this research paper will undertake a comparative analysis of chemical policies in both the EU and the United States, highlighting, not just the extent to which divergent national interests and goals directed both negotiations and their outcomes but the extent to which the aforementioned ultimately lends to differing degrees of commitment to international agreements and, accordingly, different implementation methods.
Growing concern over global warming and the impact of chemical waste on environmental conditions was one of the factors which incited the Kyoto Protocol and which the mentioned agreement supposedly dealt with. As Litfin (1997) notes, negotiations, although contentious, ultimately led to agreement between the variant parties, as an immediate outcome of the realization that, irrespective of national boundaries which effectively imposed national sovereignty upon different segments of the environment, the latter was, in essence, a global common. Accordingly, negotiations over chemical regulations, or any such threat to the environment, had to unfold from within the parameters of that realization; and needed to be founded on an awareness of the transnational nature of environmental issues and the associate imperatives of, not just trans-Atlantic environmental policy agreements but, on global environmental policy agreements (Litfin, 1997).
The United States, as did the member states of the European Union, ultimately conceded to the Kyoto Protocols and declared that it would adhere to its chemical regulation policy recommendations. Prior to implementation, however, the United States, in direct comparison to the European union member states, withdrew its agreement through a refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocols and a subsequent declaration to the effect that it would not adhere to it (Bierman and Dingwerth, 2004). Even as it officially denied the phenomenon of global warming and the role of chemical emissions and waste played therein, the United States determined that the cost of adherence to chemical regulation policies, as defined and designed by the Kyoto Protocol, carried an economically unsustainable cost (Stoett, 2004; Bierman and Dingwerth, 2004. Given the marked, even remarkable difference between the stance adopted by the United States versus that adopted by the European Union, a comparative and critical analysis of the forces which motivated and governed either position is important.
The Nature of Policies
In any given policy area there is a range of choices and instruments which policy makers use to design the policy is most suited to their country, their economy and the policy's target group- in this case, the chemical industry. As Elliott (2001) explains, this means that environmental policies which are designed and negotiated on the international level are not binding treaties, equivalent to international law. Instead, they are recommendations and objectives. Moreover, because ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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