|dc.description.abstract||THE ACID RAIN REGIME: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SULPHUR- AND THE NOx PROCESSES.
Aim of the thesis The aim of this thesis was to contribute to answering the question of why some international environmental regimes function more effectively than others. More precisely it was done by evaluating the effectiveness of two processes within the "Acid Rain Regime". The two processes I compared were the sulphur process and the NOx process. The first task of the analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of the two processes.
Theoretical framework The dependent variable in my analysis is eJjCectiveness of two processes within the "Acid Rain Regime". In this thesis effectiveness has been measured along two dimensions; relative improvement over time and distance to the perfect solution. The first dimension concerns whether, and to what degree, the parties to the regime have changed their behaviour as a cause of the regime. Eventual changes were measured by data on emission levels. Unintentional emission reductions which could not be explained by the existence of the regime were checked for. The second dimension concerns how far the chosen solutions are from what is seen as ecological optimal. The distance to the perfect solution was measured by data on what scientists regard as the best solution. The independent variables were split into two categories; "problem characteristics" and "problem-solving capacity". The problem characteristics variables seek to describe what kind of problems we are dealing with. This variable was further split into scientific characteristics and political characteristics. The more scientific uncertainty, disagreement and complexity surrounding a problem, the more difficult it is to solve. Political characteristics, which have been paid most attention to, concern to what degree there are asymmetries between the parties to the regime. In the "acid rain game" some countries are upwind and some are downwind, meaning that some countries export pollution and others import pollution. We also know that some countries are more vulnerable to acid rain than others. The degree of competition also reflects how political malign/benign the problem is. The higher the degree of international competition in the sectors that have to be regulated to solve the problems, the more malign the problems are expected to be. The problem-solving capacity describes how much energy and skill is invested in solving the problem. Problem-solving capacity is seen as a function of three determinants; the institutional setting, the distribution of power/capabilities among the actors and the skill and energy invested in the political engineering of solving the problem. The two last determinants were combined under the label of "leadership" as both of them have to do with how actors utilise their resources to lead others in the one or another direction. The instilutional setting is very much the same for both processes, as they are both parts of the same regime. The institutional features the two processes have in common cannot be the causes of eventual differences in el fectiveness and were therefore not treated in this thesis.
Empirical findings Thc m.w lding concerning effectiveness was lhat the sulphur process has been much naore eftcctive than the NOx process, both at the relative improvement dimension and at the distancc to the perlect sohl! ,n dimension. The effectiveness of the sulphur plocess has been steadily increasing from l980 until today, while the ellectiveness of lhc NOx process tirst increased after some years. ll the decision in thc last sulr)hur protocol is implemented at national levels, this will imply a major step towards the perlect solution. The NOx process, however, has a long way to go. Additional reductions up to 90 % are required for some countries. It was shown that other factors than thc existence of the regime were more important to explain emission reductions in at least half of the countries in both processes. The problem characteristics variables have been more important to explain the differences in effectiveness than the problem-solving capacity variables. First, the complexity and the scientific uncertainties have been greater for the NOx problem than for the sulphur problem. The difference has, however, been reduced somewhat over the years. Second, the degree of competition has been larger in the NOx process. The reason for this is that NOx emissions from mobile sources will have great implications for the car industry in several European countries. There has also been differences in the degree of leadership exercised in the two processes. In the sulphur process several countries have acted as leaders and substantial pressure was used. l argued, however, that leadership is closely tied to the problcnl bellel-ated prcl~crcnces ol powerlul actol-s, and thus to problelll characteristics. Lcadership should therefore not be treated as a problem-solving capacity variable.||nor