Published on Jun 08, 2021

The Earth System Governance Project is delighted to announce its latest endorsed research project: PROBLEMSHIFTING: investigating the causes and effects of problem-shifting between international environmental treaty regimes, with a view to improving their overall effectiveness.

Every month, governments around the world gather to make important decisions to solve global environmental problems. However, their decisions often lead to new, and sometimes even more chronic and severe, environmental problems – what is known as global ‘environmental problem-shifting’. With over a thousand international environmental treaties in force, the scale and complexity of environmental problem-shifting is severe and expected to increase. PROBLEMSHIFTING explains why problem-shifting occurs between international environmental treaties and examines the systemic effects of problem-shifting in global environmental governance. Building on these findings, the project offers innovative governance solutions that help ensure our global environmental efforts add up to a net positive impact.

PROBLEMSHIFTING is directed by Asst. Prof. Rakhyun E. Kim, and hosted at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. The programme is funded for five years (2021-2026) through a ‘Starting Grant’ awarded by the European Research Council (Grant agreement No. 949252).