Welcome to the research programme PROBLEMSHIFTING. We investigate the causes and effects of problem-shifting between international environmental treaty regimes, with a view to improving their overall effectiveness.

Every month, governments around the world gather to make important decisions to solve global environmental problems. However, their decisions often lead to new, and sometimes even more chronic and severe, environmental problems – what is known as global ‘environmental problem-shifting’. With over a thousand international environmental treaties in force, the scale and complexity of environmental problem-shifting is severe and expected to increase. PROBLEMSHIFTING explains why problem-shifting occurs between international environmental treaties and examines the systemic effects of problem-shifting in global environmental governance. Building on these findings, we offer innovative governance solutions that help ensure our global environmental efforts add up to a net positive impact.

PROBLEMSHIFTING is directed by Assoc. Prof. Rakhyun E. Kim, and hosted at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable DevelopmentThe programme is funded for five years (2021-2026) through a 1.5 million euro ‘Starting Grant’ awarded by the European Research Council (Grant agreement No. 949252).