This chapter focuses on multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Unlike other international policy fields such as trade, labor, or health, where international institutions are streamlined, environmental problem solving is centered around a multiple number of multilateral environmental agreements and their institutions (secretariat and conference of the parties). Although existing environmental institutions such as MEAs and UNEP [the United Nations Environment Programme] have achieved a great deal and reduced the speed with which environmental degradation is proceeding, there still are a number of pressing environmental problems prevailing throughout the world, including air and water pollution, the loss of biological diversity, desertification, and climate change. Furthermore, accelerated globalization has caused cross-border environmental problems to increase. Challenges of environmental governance are huge and still growing. What is necessary to improve the system and make it more effective? Could we head for a more effective environmental governance system based on MEAs on the road ahead, or do we need to change direction towards a more streamlined problem-solving system?.
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