The trade disputes described in the previous section of this Issue Brief dramatize the trade-offs inherent in thinking about the relationship between globalization and the environment. These trade-offs are also apparent in the larger context of international economic and political relations, as the environment has become a key area of international concern and has been addressed in many multilateral forums and treaties.

Below, we examine six specific environmental issuesthreats to wildlife, loss of biodiversity, ecosystem degradation, global warming, ozone depletion, and pollutionthat display the same themes as those disputes, as well as others. These include international cooperation versus sovereign control, differing cultural evaluations of the need for environmental protection, the role of scientific evidence in policymaking, and, of course, environmental concerns versus economic development.