Splitting the South: China and India's Divergence in International Environmental Negotiations

25 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2016 Last revised: 29 Nov 2016

See all articles by Leah Stokes

Leah Stokes

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Political Science

Amanda Giang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Noelle E. Selin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: February 1, 2016

Abstract

International environmental negotiations often involve conflicts between developed and developing countries. However, considering environmental cooperation in a North-South dichotomy obscures important variation within the global South, particularly as emerging economies become more important politically, economically and environmentally. This article examines change in the Southern coalition in environmental negotiations using the recently concluded Minamata Convention on Mercury as its primary case. Focusing on India and China, we argue that three key factors explain divergence in their positions as the negotiations progressed: domestic resources and regulatory politics, development constraints, and domestic scientific and technological capacity. We conclude that the intersection between scientific and technological development and domestic policy is of increasing importance in shaping emerging economies engagement in international environmental negotiations. We also discuss how this divergence is affecting international environmental cooperation on other issues, including the ozone and climate negotiations.

Keywords: Mercury policy, international environmental negotiations, climate policy, ozone policy, developing countries

Suggested Citation

Stokes, Leah and Giang, Amanda and Selin, Noelle E., Splitting the South: China and India's Divergence in International Environmental Negotiations (February 1, 2016). Global Environmental Politics, November 2016, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp. 12-31.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733872

Leah Stokes (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Dept. of Political Science
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9420
United States

Amanda Giang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Noelle E. Selin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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