Multilateralism in Crisis. Environmental Conflict and Stalemate in the Trade and Climate Regimes
Those who argue that multilateralism is in crisis typically point to the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations under the WTO and the post-Kyoto negotiations under the UNFCCC as Exhibits A and B. Both sets of negotiations have moved at a glacial pace over the past decade, are plagued by mistrust and major divisions among hardened negotiating blocs, and have so far failed to fulfil their basic purposes. This presentation will highlight the commonalities and connections between the stalemates in the Doha trade round and the post-Kyoto climate negotiations from the standpoint of environmental multilateralism. The presentation will also critically assess the most commonly discussed explanation to account for the stalemate, namely, the shift towards a more multipolar world (the ‘power shift’ argument), and explore the consequences of failure for each set of negotiations.