The starting point for a discussion of reform of the global environmental machinery has to be an inquiry into the causes of ineffectiveness of current arrangements. This article argues first that many of the criticisms made of the existing architecture are misplaced while ignoring other key faults. Second, argues that the means of operationalizing an alternative World Environment Organization (WEO) are problematic and may exacerbate existing problems, particularly for developing countries. The article focuses here more on the notion that a WEO should pursue the internalization of environmental externalities. It argues that while this goal is worth pursuing, proposals for a deal-brokering body are unlikely to make much progress in delivering it because of misplaced assumptions about both the existing political order and about the ability of a WEO to remedy current weaknesses.

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