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Beginning Of Contemporary American Environmental Diplomacy---An Analysis Of The Environmental Diplomacy Under The Nixon Administration (1969-1972)

Posted on:2016-11-18Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:J M ZhouFull Text:PDF
GTID:1226330485961777Subject:History of international relations
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Environmental diplomacy under the Nixon administration is the collectively implementation of bilateral, regional and globally environmental diplomacy, which is considered to be the beginning of contemporary American Environmental Diplomacy. Richard Nixon himself was not keen to the environment, his environmental diplomacy stems from a complex diplomatic tradition, ideological trend and domestic political reality.American environmental diplomacy has a long tradition, dating back to the era of progressivism. During late 19th century and early 20th century, United States and Canada conflict with each other due to resource issues. At that time, Canada’s right of handling of Foreign Affairs remained in the control of the United Kingdom, and Canada only has the inquiry right but not the right of making decisions. In the process of resolving disputes, United Kingdom often wins over United States at the expense of Canadian interests and stimulates Canada’s determination to seek independence of Foreign Affairs. As the contact between US and Canada has increased, Canada increasingly tends to solve the conflicts at the national level. In that context, United States developed environmental diplomacy to Canada and reached agreements on fishing, fur seal hunting and migratory bird issues. Progressive environmental practice laid the foundation for contemporary environmental diplomacy under the Nixon administration.The environmental movement of 1960s is a catalyst for the environmental diplomacy under the Nixon administration. American people are increasingly concerned about the deteriorating natural environment since 1960s. In 1962, Carson’s book, Silent Spring was published. The book describes the hazards of pesticides and awakes the environmental awareness of American people. It initiated the environmental movement of 1960s. Further research on the theory of ecological system was conducted by environmental historians, which establishes a new concept of environmental history. Environmental groups also greatly thrived and the number of non-governmental environmental protection organization increased. In this context, environmental movement of 1960s developed in full swing and reached its height in Apr.22th, 1972.Facing the booming third environmental campaign, Nixon appointed cabinet member Russell Train to establish a working group, which was primarily responsible for conducting research the current environmental condition and developing solutions. In 1969, when publicized his inauguration address, Nixon integrated environmental protection into his governance agenda, showing the determination to make a difference. Effect of environmental protection policy often has a certain lag, however, could not be immediately apparent. Therefore, Nixon’s domestic environmental policies have been criticized by environmentalists. Democrats in Congress against the Nixon administration also took the opportunity to attack and gained political capital. In 1969, for a whole year, domestic environmental policies of the Nixon administration were caught in a difficult political struggle to survive. Such domestic political environment prompted Nixon to gradually shift to environmental diplomacy, the implementations of which are relatively low but the results are very visible.Environmental diplomacy under the Nixon administration is composed of regional environmental diplomacy, global environmental diplomacy and bilateral diplomacy. In 1969, at the 20th annual general meeting of NATO, Nixon proposes to establish "committee on the challenges of modern society" (CCMS), marks the beginning of the regional environmental diplomacy. United States also proposed the "pilot project", hopes to strengthen allies through joint research conducted by CCMS. CCMS had limited success in relieving tension between United States and allies. But through pilot project United States succeeded in creating new international environmental politics rule. Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD)is another implementation of Nixon’s regional diplomacy. The Nixon Administration strongly supports the OECD Environment Committee, encouraging its greater participation in the handling of environmental issues related to economic affairs. Based on its domestic legislation, United States established the polluter-pays principle and the principle of prior notification in OECD.The global environmental diplomacy is mainly implemented through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the Stockholm meeting. The Nixon Administration hopes to use the environmental diplomacy ease tensions between East and West camps, establish links between United States and Eastern Europe. Through research, United States believes the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe is an important carrier of achieving this goal. The Nixon Administration decided to make the Economic Commission for Europe Prague meeting as an opportunity to fight for environmental cooperation with Eastern European countries. In preparatory meeting for Prague Conference, fierce quarrel outbreak between East and West camps because of the identity of the German Democratic Republic. Prague Conference downgraded to expert seminars to be held. Environmental cooperation between East and West camps eventually failed to form. Stockholm Conference is another implementation of global environmental diplomacy. United States was fully prepared for the meeting and submitted four proposals. Stockholm Conference adopted the proposals of the Environmental Fund and the setting up of a new agency for the objectives of the General Assembly. These two proposals developed into United Nations Environment Fund and the United Nations Environment Program. Other proposals of United States have been implemented on follow-up meetings to the Stockholm Conference meeting. The participating States had signed Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and Agreement on World Heritage.Bilateral environmental diplomacy is mainly between Canada, Soviet Union and United States. Bilateral environmental diplomacy between United States focused on the protection of water quality in the Great Lakes region. In 1970, Nixon appointed Train to lead a working group and start negotiations with Canada. In 1971, United States and Canada agree on key issues of water quality objectives, such as time limits. In 1972, United States and Canada have finally signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. After the Cuba Missile Crisis, United States and the Soviet Union experience the leveled off after a period of tense relations. Nixon asked Train to take the opportunity of visiting the Soviets Union, negotiating with the Soviets Union on environmental issues. United States and the Soviets Union finally signed US-USSR Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection.
Keywords/Search Tags:Environmental Diplomacy, United States, Richard Nixon, Bilateral Environmental Diplomacy, Regional Environmental Diplomacy, Global Environmental Diplomacy
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