C&C Course Notes - Week 11 - Larry Summers sends a confidential memo to people in the World Bank It says that the World Bank should be encouraging

C&C Course Notes - Week 11 - Larry Summers sends a...

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Larry Summers sends a confidential memo to people in the World Bank . It says that the World Bank should be encouraging the movement of heavily polluting industries to Less Developed Countries (LDC's). His reasons: 1. The cost of pollution in "forgone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality" will be lower. Quote: "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that." 2. The cost of pollution are nonlinear (the first bit of pollution isn't that bad, but after a lot of it, the next bit of pollution is). It's too bad that a lot of pollution is generated by non-tradeable industries (transport, electrical generation) 3. "The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income-elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one-in-a-million change in the odds of prostate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostate cancer than in a country where under-5 mortality is 200 per thousand. " "The problem with the arguments ag-ainst all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberal-isation." Gareth Porter and Janet Welsh Brown, "The Development of Environmental Regimes: Nine Case Studies" "Conclusion" and "Trade and the Environment" This chapter uses nine case studies to trace four stages of the development of global environmental regimes: issue definition, fact finding, bargaining on regime creation, and regime strengthening . These studies present several similar stories that are all easily summed up in the conclusion, on which I draw heavily in this summary. The successful negotiation of global environmental regimes almost always depends on inducing one or more key states in a veto coalition to go along with a central element in the proposed regime. The veto states usually either change their own understanding of the problem because of new scientific evidence or change in political leadership or are moved by some combination of domestic pressures and the fear of negative reactions by governments and public opinion in other states.
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New scientific evidence has helped moved veto states on some issues (acid rain and ozone depletion) but has secondary or irrelevant in other issues (whaling, hazardous waste trade, Antarctic minerals, and African elephants). International considerations were primary in several cases: Japan's concern with economic and diplomatic ties with other major trading nations and its international image helped tilt its stand on the ivory ban. French and British desires to maintain close relations with former colonies were a factor conditioning their views on the hazardous waste trade issue. The threat of trade sanctions constrained Japan and (until 1993) Norway from openly defying the ban on whaling.
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