Why Are International Agreements Hard To Achieve

1.18 Despite the designation of a lead department for each international environmental agreement, there are no common mechanisms for formally defining and delegating the responsibilities of lead departments. The nature of the lead department`s role is usually based on the department`s mandate and the related responsibilities of the minister. In addition, federal Cabinet documents authorizing the negotiation and ratification of agreements (p.B Mee notes to Cabinet and decision accounts) can identify the lead department and, to some extent, describe its role. However, in law, Cabinet documents are not accessible to the public or to Members of Parliament and are therefore not sufficiently transparent for accountability purposes. 1.10 In addition to their growing number, international environmental agreements have also increased in scope and complexity. While previous agreements covered a limited number of issues, recent agreements deal with a much wider range of issues. In addition, the terms of recent agreements are generally more comprehensive and stricter, covering a wider range of commitments. 1.58 The audit found that Environment Canada is aware of the estimated emissions of NOx and VOCs and the resulting concentration of ground-level ozone in the air. There is a clear objective for the desired environmental outcome – the reduction of ground-level ozone concentrations – as well as estimated emission reduction targets necessary to achieve this outcome. In addition, the Department measures results in terms of ground-level ozone concentration and estimated NOx and VOC emissions. As there are clear and comparable measures in relation to the desired environmental outcomes, we believe that this shows that the reports on the results and targets of the Ozone Annex are in.

1.128 We also asked senior departments to identify any significant operational constraints that affect the achievement of the performance expectations or objectives of the agreements. In addition, we asked them to identify the corrective measures needed to ensure that the environmental expectations or objectives of their agreements are met. For three agreements, senior departments have identified the following limitations: 1.24 Departmental performance reports should also strive to be concise and well understood by Canadians. Given this fact, they are not intended to be exhaustive or to present complete information on everything a federal department does. Competing priorities often make it difficult to report on all major programs and initiatives. Therefore, there is no guarantee that senior departments will use their departmental performance reports to report on the results of international environmental agreements. .