The Globalization Program studies
the effects of the increasingly integrated global economy
on the environment and society.
The explosive growth of the global economy threatens
the natural systems that sustain life on Earth. Despite
some significant successes in reducing industrial pollution
and increasing efficiency, globalization is devastating
natural habitats, speeding global warming, and increasing
air and water pollution. At the same time, due to the
increasingly global nature of trade and business, traditional
national environmental protection techniques have become
The Globalization Program studies the local, national, and international
impacts of globalization while developing solutions to
support healthy economic growth, protect the environment,
and create a more equitable world.
Environmental Policy in Transition
Due in great measure to the pressures posed by globalization,
environmental policy both in the United States and abroad
is in transition. Many government officials, environmentalists,
and business leaders believe that the traditional "command
and control" regulatory system--as useful as it's
been in reducing pollution and regulating unsafe practices--is
approaching the limits of its effectiveness.
In response, both environmentalists and corporations
have begun to explore new approaches like voluntary, performance-based
environmental initiatives. The Pacific Institute's Globalization
program is working to influence these initiatives and
environmental standards in general, with participation in programs like The CEO Water Mandate with the United Nations and the Alliance for Water Stewardship with The Nature Conservancy, the Water Stewardship Initiative, and many others. Global environmental
standards and voluntary industry programs have many possible
benefits for those concerned about environmental protection
and social equity--provided these efforts are strong enough
to be significant and credible.
One of the most influential standards-setting bodies
is the International Organization for Standardization
(ISO). And much of our work has focused on ensuring that
ISO-created standards protect the environment, consumers,
and the public at large. A comprehensive report on ISO's
environmental standards produced by the Pacific Institute
in 2000 provided a critical, public interest analysis--while
informing policymakers, environmental and consumer groups,
and the general public about this important subject.