Global Environmental Diplomacy

From Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation

Global Environmental Diplomacy

Negotiating Environmental Agreements for the World, 1973-1992

By Mostafa K. Tolba

With Iwona Rummel-Bulska

Foreword by Mario Molina





Foreword by Mario Molina As Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1976 to 1992, Mostafa K.

Tolba had as much insight into, and influence on, the development of international environmental policy as anyone. In this book, he tells the story of the negotiations that led to a number of landmark agreements, such as the Vienna Convention on Ozone and its Montreal Protocol, the Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes, and the Biodiversity Convention. The book stands as the legacy of an important and charismatic figure who played a pivotal role during the first phase of global environmental diplomacy. Tolba concentrates on the context in which governments conclude that particular issues are ripe for binding international cooperation and on the factors that influence them during negotiations—such as science, the media, nongovernmental organizations, politicians, business and industry, and the public. The areas he discusses include the evolution of environmental law, environmental soft laws (principles and guidelines rather than treaties), binding regional regimes such as the Regional Seas Program and the Shared Freshwater Resources Program, the ozone layer, global warming, hazardous wastes, the loss of biological diversity, and ways to make international agreements work.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262201131 232 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$25.00 X ISBN: 9780262701228 232 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Iwona Rummel-Bulska and Mario Molina.


  • As a memoir of a new kind of diplomacy for a new kind of world, [Global Environmental Diplomacy] is destined to become an important historical document.

    Times Higher Education Supplement

  • Should not be missed by students of foreign affairs, international lawyers, budding diplomats, or serious environmentalists.



  • As a charismatic leader, Dr. Tolba left his imprint on a major period of international environmental diplomacy. In his book together with Dr. Rummel-Bulska, he trace the major challenges, achievements, tensions and contradictions as they emerged after 1972. Environmental students and scholars of modern international politics will benefit from these reflections.

    Rudolf Dolzer

    Director, Institute of International Law, University of Bonn

  • This book makes fascinating reading about the efforts to bring about major international environmental treaties thus creating the basis and inspiration for further action.

    Birgitta Dahl

    Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, and Chairman, UN Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development