You are here : Home > Journals > Contemporary Asia Pacific Studies > 2012 > 1

The Transformation of the “Leader” in Global Environmental Governance:

Author: Xie LaihuiSilver Editor Source: Contemporary Asia Pacific StudiesTime :2014-04-10 14:35:00

    Abstract: Canada was long a model for leadership in global environmental governance among developed Western states. While it has traditionally participated enthusiastically in global climate governance, in recent years it has started lagging behind in climate talks. What exactly is the reason for this change?

    Through a multi-layered analysis that considers domestic and international and economics and politics, this article finds that in addition to the influence of the United States, changes in the domestic economic situation and political institutions in Canada are the main reasons for its shift in strategy. Since the 1990s, the heavy development of oil sands and crude oil exports (and especially reliance on the American market) has caused a deterioration of Canadas position with respect to climate talks, while lobbying by related interest groups in Canadas decentralized federal system has resulted in a shift in Canadian policy on climate change. In sum, the interaction between evolving economic interests and Canadas unique policy institutions have determined Canadas strategy with respect to climate and the environment. To a certain extent, this case also refutes the argument that developed democracies are destined to become staunch supporters of global environmental governance because of their political institutions.

    Author: Xie Laihui is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Central Compilation & Translation Bureau