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All serious environmental threats are now international in scope and more than one thousand international environmental agreements already exist. Yet the prospects for international cooperation leading to the management of impacts on the planet remain grim. The Global Environment meets the need for an authoritative assessment of the state of international environmental institutions, laws and policies at the end of the 20th century. The book examines disagreements over the meaning of sustainable development, problems inherent in implementing environmental policies and the conflict over the exclusion of developing countries from the Kyoto Protocol. It discusses the profound trade-offs that may be required, the role of international financial interests in promoting incompatible forms of development and analyses international environmental institutions, law and policy and sustainable development.