Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Sara Wiest


Multilateral Agreements, Institutional Design Mechanisms, Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, Paris Agreement, Flexibility Mechanisms, International Environmental Law


With climate change being one of the largest existential threat’s civilizations has ever faced and global cooperation the only conceivable solution, why have the existing MEAs of the climate change regime failed? Moreover, why have MEAs in other environmental regimes, such as the ozone regime, been so much more successful than MEAs in the climate change regime? To investigate this question, I use a theoretical framework of international law and focus on the specific way the institutional design of agreements can yield greater success. I define success in a two-pronged manner which focuses on participation and compliance.

This paper takes a comparative analysis between the ozone regime and climate change regime to dissect what specific features made the Montreal Protocol so much more successful than the Kyoto Protocol. I argue that international relations present one of the largest impediments to a meaningful solution. Furthermore, I argue that by balancing legal provisions of flexibility and compliance within an agreement such political obstacles can be surmounted. This paper concludes that while you cannot simply implant the blueprints of one successful MEA to another, especially across regimes, you can incorporate institutional design features which yield both increased ratification and adherence. This presents an opportunity for the Paris Agreement to build upon the successful features of the Montreal Protocol and incorporate design features which will allow for the continued strengthened of state commitments.



Rights Statement

No Known Copyright