Global environmental conventions are created to address and resolve global environmental problems. Assessments of the achievement of specific environmental goals, however, indicate that there is room for progress and that improved collective action is required. Given the few existing studies that measure the implementation of international environmental law, it is important to expand existing analytical frameworks about international environmental agreements and their translation into national policies. This article explains the rationale and design of the Environmental Conventions Index
, an implementation measurement tool we have developed at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Index assesses the implementation of global environmental conventions in two clusters—conservation and pollution—showcasing the main trends for both countries and conventions. Using a mixed-method approach, we explain the development of this measurement tool as an instrument to inform policy changes at the national and global levels and present aggregate results of the analysis. As global environmental challenges in the conservation of natural resources and the persistence of pollutants become critical, assessment of countries’ performance on international environmental goals is essential. We offer an innovative method that provides academic analysis and policy input to improve implementation, and thus the effectiveness of these governance instruments in addressing global environmental challenges.
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