Do political preconditions affect environmental outcomes? Exploring the linkages between proportional representation, Green parties and the Kyoto Protocol

Date created: 
Global climate change
Green party
Kyoto Protocol
Electoral systems
Proportional representation
Environmental policy
Global Climate Change

Is there a relationship between positive environmental changes, a quick ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and preconditions such as green party presence and a Proportional Representation (PR) electoral system? The findings suggest that Proportional Representation electoral systems are correlated with green parties in legislatures. PR is also correlated with a faster time to ratify the Kyoto Protocol after December 1997, as well as the change in percentage of world total carbon emissions. The presence of green parties in cabinet and legislatures does not have a statistically significant relationship to the dependent variables. Finding very little correlation between PR, green party presence, and better environmental outcomes may indicate that even in a PR system, those politicians with an environmental agenda often set aside their convictions and go along with the majority in the coalition they have joined.

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Copyright remains with the author
Senior supervisor: 
Department of Political Science - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.A.)