Falkner ‘5 (Robert, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics, American Hegemony and the Global Environment, ISR, Volume 7 Page 585)
The first use of hegemony in international environmental politics revolves around the use of superior power in the interest of international regime building. Young (1989:88) has argued in International Cooperation: Building Regimes for Natural Resources and the Environment that, even though hegemonic states rarely impose international regimes against the wishes of other states, they play an important role in providing leadership in the creation of mutually agreeable environmental regimes. Although environmental leadership does not necessarily result from hegemonic power, it is closely linked to such power. Environmental leadership can take many different forms: policy entrepreneurship of individual actors in international bargaining that facilitates compromise and agreement in the interest of environmental causes (entrepreneurial leadership); diffusion and role model effects of national environmental policy (intellectual leadership); and the more explicit use of economic incentives and sanctions in pursuit of international environmental objectives (structural leadership) (Young 1991; Lake 1993; Vogel 1997; Tews 2004). Even though hegemony is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for the existence of environmental leadership, it is usually only powerful states that have a lasting effect on international negotiations and norm creation. Weaker states may assume a leading position when it comes to developing progressive environmental policies or demanding stringent international rules. But such initiatives will remain ineffective if they are not backed up by political and economic clout that can foster international agreement and induce compliance. For example, smaller European states such as Denmark and the Netherlands have often been in the vanguard of environmental policy innovation, but Germany, Europe's largest economy, is usually credited with providing the essential leadership for advancing environmental policies at the EU level. A similar picture emerges in the international system. It is mainly states that have dominant economic and political clout and whose position in the international economy affords them the possibility of exerting indirect or direct pressure on other states that can provide effective leadership on environmental issues. The United States is a good example of this conclusion. For much of the early phase of international environmental politics, the United States provided international leadership in one form or the other. It was one of the first leading industrialized nations to develop comprehensive environmental legislation and regulatory institutions. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was set up in 1970 to integrate the widely scattered programs and institutions dealing with environmental matters, instantly became a model for similar regulatory agencies that were created in other industrialized countries during the 1970s. Much of this state activity was underpinned by the world's most dynamic environmental movement, which came into existence in the mid-1960s. US environmental groups ranging from the more traditional bodies (Sierra Club, National Audubon Society) to modern environmental nongovernmental organizations (Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace) worked to create broadly based domestic support for a more ambitious environmental policy at home and abroad. US scientists and activists came to play a leading role in the global environmental movement that began to emerge in the 1970s (Kraft 2004). At the international level, the United States began to claim the mantle of environmental leader, first at the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972 (Hopgood 1998:96), and later in the context of the multilateral efforts to agree on environmental treaties. Having declared eight whale species endangered based on the Endangered Species Act of 1969, the United States took up the issue of whale preservation internationally and initiated a transformation of the international whaling regime to emphasize species protection rather than natural resource usage. US diplomatic pressure and threat of sanctions were instrumental in getting the International Whaling Commission to place a ban on commercial whaling in 1984 (Porter and Brown 1996:77–81; Fletcher 2001). Also in the 1970s, the United States began to support international efforts to take action against ozone layer depletion and in the 1980s became a key advocate of international restrictions on the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. During the negotiations on the Montreal Protocol, the US government provided important leadership and exerted pressure on skeptical states, especially the European producers of ozone-depleting substances, that objected to strong international measures (Benedick 1991). Whereas the ozone negotiations provided the United States with an opportunity to display leadership in a multilateral context, US policy on the conservation of species took on a more unilateral character. More than any other country, the United States has used the threat of sanctions to change other nations' behavior in areas that endanger threatened species. Using import restrictions on products made in an environmentally damaging way, the US government forced foreign fishing fleets to comply with American standards of protection of, for example, dolphins and sea turtles (DeSombre 2001).