Keywords: environmental protection, globalisation, international cooperation, international public good, United Nations
Global environmental protection: solving the international public-goods problem by empowering the United Nations through cooperation with WTO
A significant, if not the major, characteristic of environmental protection is that its effect is largely worldwide. On the other hand, the world consists of hundreds of independent countries and regions. Therefore, an important problem in the protection of the global environment is that of the free-rider or public-goods problem. Pursuing its own interest, each country, state or region has insufficient incentive to safeguard global environment. This paper proposes a solution to this public-goods problem by enriching the United Nations with sufficient funds to subsidise abatement and empowering it with sharp enough teeth (through cooperation with the World Trade Organisation) to penalise non-compliance, including the failure to contribute the proposed higher contributions to the United Nations.