World Resources Institute / edited by Ruth Greenspan Bell, Micah Ziegler, Barry Blechman, Brian Finlay and Thomas Cottier
[From WRI Insights] …Beyond verification, other important lessons include:
- Progress can be made even when major players stall or sit on the sidelines;
- Progress is not solely conditioned by legal form. The study of the weapons and trade regimes suggest it is possible to achieve substantive outcomes and build both mutual trust and increasingly robust verification processes, even before countries reach a formal, ratified agreement;
- Decoupling issues and outsourcing elements of the regime to specialized bodies can increase progress;
- Variable geometry (differences in commitment levels resulting from allowing Parties who wish to go further and faster the flexibility to move ahead) can spur a race to the top;
- Smaller-scale agreements, for example segmenting out parts of larger challenges or working with a smaller number of countries for specific purposes, can be used to pilot forms of agreement and related verification methodologies, and expand on multilateral verification systems; and
- Setting principles for “graduation” is challenging, but doing so can allow for agreements to evolve and grow as necessary over the long term. Making such arrangements can require regime participants to strike an appropriate balance between equity and environmental integrity in international regimes, taking into account the participants’ differing capabilities, needs, and stages of development.