The experience of the last ten years of global environmental negotiations suggests that a new and different approach to international cooperation is required if we are to achieve sustainable development. While multilateral environmental agreements have provided a valuable framework for building a consensus on broad objectives, their implementation requires a focus on the underlying activities that cause environmental degradation. Moreover, globalization encourages the development and use of innovative technologies, leading to a large degree of overlap between global environmental concerns and national sustainable development objectives. These shifts require wholly new perspectives that are based less on determining responsibilities and more on supporting mutually reinforcing transformations. The new approach also looks beyond the state to other stakeholders as contributors to achieving sustainable development.

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