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tragedy of commons

By crazysand220 Nov 14, 2013 687 Words
Global tragedy of commons Occurs when polluting a resource, like most parts of the environment, brings private benefits to the country that pollutes but ultimately has adverse global consequences (for all countries) irrespective of where the pollution originates.

The term Global Commons refers to the earth's unowned natural resources, such as the oceans, Earth's atmosphere, and outer space. Common resources are overexploited because no person or institution has the motivation and/or responsibility to allocate them in a sustainable way.

Therefore, environmental pollution (especially atmospheric pollution) is often characterized as a global tragedy of commons. Global warming an example we always hear.

Earth’s natural greenhouse effect makes life as we know it possible. However, human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, have intensified the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming. The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface and the lower atmosphere, it results in an elevation of the average surface temperature Finally, it leads to Global warming. The average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans increased since the late 19th century. Since the early 20th century, Earth's mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C, with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980

Countries, especially developing ones, have an incentive to attract MNC’s through lax regulations on environmental pollution. Excessive emission of greenhouse gases by firms in one part of the world has adverse effects on other countries, irrespective of their own environmental regulations. Consequently, developed countries like USA and AUS have a weak incentive to enforce strict environmental regulations in the absence of guarantees from other countries to do so. It is because of costs and benefits and fairness.

US President George W Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, saying implementing it would gravely damage the US economy. His administration dubbed the treaty "fatally flawed", partly because it does not require developing countries to commit to emissions reductions. It is unfair that developing countries are excluded. For example, the amount of greenhouse gas emission of China is the second biggest among the world.

How does Kyoto protocol contribute to the global tragedy of commons? Therefore, a multilateral agreement like Kyoto protocol is needed to ensure that countries can commit to and coordinate their environmental protection regulations. The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that set binding obligations on the industrialized countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of September 2011, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol which Annex I countries (including the US) collectively agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% on average for the period 2008-2012. This reduction is relative to their annual emissions in a base year, usually 1990.

Ethical dilemmas are situations in which none of the available alternatives appear to be ethically acceptable. Ethical Dilemma for International Businesses: Should the adoption of ‘uniform’ ethical code by businesses be blind to the prevailing economic conditions of the host country? Examples: hiring of child labor in developing countries On three documented occasions during the 1990s, anti-sweatshop activists in rich countries have apparently caused increases in child prostitution in poor countries. In Bangladesh, there was a closure of several sweatshops which had been run by a German company, and as a result, thousands of Bangladeshi children who had been working in those sweatshops ended up working as prostitutes, turning to crime, or starving to death. In Pakistan, several sweatshops, including ones run by Nike, Reebok, and other corporations, were closed, which caused those Pakistani children to turn to prostitution. In Nepal, a carpet manufacturing company closed several sweatshops, resulting in thousands of Nepalese girls turning to prostitution.

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