Documentation:Open Case Studies/Political Science/Industry2

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Change in the oil and mining sectors, being the biggest contributors to climate change, can most effectively reduce the harmful effects it brings. Changing the practices of the corporations involved in oil and mining will lead to wide-scale global environmental change. Corporations involved in the energy sector transcend national borders and so their practices have global impacts. For example, ninety corporations caused approximately two-thirds of the man-made global emissions (The Guardian, 2016). Climate change is primarily caused by the emission of green-house gases. These effects are global, and thus the responsibility must be global as well. Corporations make a large profit through the energy industry and often disregard the negative externalities of their actions. Furthermore, often times corporations have larger revenues than the GDP of small states, giving them the economic ability and international responsibility to create a positive impact on the global environment. - Focussing on the “polluter pays” strategy, corporations are the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, thus it is most fair for them to be held accountable for the costs. - Corporations also have the ability to pay and so it is practical and reasonable for them to be held responsible -

Action Plan

Companies should be held accountable to an international standard and not solely to domestic standards since oftentimes different localities have very low standards in comparison to what needs to be acceptable in order to create environmental change. For example, when developed nations go into third world countries and pollute in ways they would not normally not at home. This is unethical because the pollution quota is being reduced in underdeveloped nations while economic benefits are going to the developed nations who have moved to areas with less-strict regulations. This international standard would require developed countries with more strict rules and regulations to keep their standards when working in other countries and if a country's standards are lower than the international standard then they must adhere to global regulations when working abroad.

The international standard should be focused on Corporate Social Responsibility.


(Erase this text: In this section, consider how your action plan can be framed to address the concerns of political, economic, and social groups. Your answers in these sections should consider the guiding questions on the student handout page. Why could you anticipate your plan as having a chance of success in gaining appropriate support? What will be its impacts? Consider both negative and positive impacts.)


Developed and developing states should lobby for international agreements and treaties regarding emissions from the carbon and mining sector. However, there could be a lot of political tension between states as some states might want to agree to these treaties and some wont. Hence, political enforcement and compliance is a possible issue that may rise. The effectiveness of follow through with the Paris Climate Accord and other such agreements is imperative. This is why all major political actors must come together to form an International body that can regulate the follow through of important environmental treaties.


The economic implications of such a radical proposal would be global in scale. Forcing transnational corporations to ensure their environmental standards in off-shore industries must be at a prescribed international level. This will thus decrease the short term profit or revenues received by those corporations that had once sent their industry off-shore in order to reap the benefits of what seemed to be easier environmental regulations. However, it is possible that this will force research and development to decrease the cost of production in the long run, and leave the environment better off as well.


(Erase this text: Write your answers here)

Remaining Challenges

It is extremely difficult to have enough accountability to ensure that corporations are adhering to the establishing international ethics standards. Government corruption often leads to ineffectiveness in ensuring ethical standards are met. There would need to be partnership between corporations and local governments in which the corporations cover the costs and take responsibility for the burden of ensuring that standards are met in their resource extraction processes and in their waste management.