International Environmental Laws And Regulations Pdf


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What is International Environmental Law?

Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. If sustainable development is ever to be achieved, the course of industrial development must be charted to serve not only concerns for economic competitiveness, but also concerns for an ecologically sustainable future.

Public International Law

Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. If sustainable development is ever to be achieved, the course of industrial development must be charted to serve not only concerns for economic competitiveness, but also concerns for an ecologically sustainable future.

If industrial ecology is to provide a common ground between the industrial and environmental agendas, it is important to consider the impact of international environmental law on industrial ecosystems and what steps might be taken to effect needed system-wide changes. Briefly summarized, industrial ecology represents a systemwide approach to analyzing industrial processes. With this approach it is possible to evaluate how environmental concerns and costs may be integrated into industrial and economic decision making, and to maximize the beneficial use of resources while minimizing disruptions to the industrial ecosystem.

In some cases, the integration of environmental factors into business decisions has resulted in a direct cost-savings to the manufacturer, creating an economic incentive sufficient to encourage the adoption of these principles. However, in the majority of cases, such efforts will not be cost-effective either in the short term, because of start-up costs, or in the long term, because market failures may prevent true environmental costs from being included in the cost-benefit analysis.

In this context, law can play a critical role, since it embodies a host of noneconomic social value judgments e. Laws, therefore, can be crafted to correct market failures and provide incentives for undertaking activities that are cost-effective only over the long term. At the national level, particularly in the United States and other industrialized countries, domestic environmental laws are slowly shifting to providing incen-. There are significant opportunities for industry to reduce or prevent pollution at the source through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use.

Such changes offer industry substantial savings in reduced raw material, pollution control, and liability costs as well as help protect the environment and reduce risks to worker health and safety. The act also recognizes that current environmental laws often impede cleaner production and consumption practices. To remedy this, the act declares a national policy to eliminate these disincentives and, to the greatest extent feasible, provide incentives for the wider acceptance of pollution prevention techniques for environmental protection.

Similarly, the new German auto initiative sets standards for reuse and recycling of used automobiles. Domestic laws such as these seek to internalize environmental costs in decision making and to encourage consideration of the environmental impacts of resource use. The vast majority of international environmental law focuses on pollution abatement, remediation, and compensation for the harms stemming from environmentally hazardous activities. In essence, the international system of environmental law has adopted the traditional command-and-control approach to environmental regulation entrenched in the domestic environmental laws of most nations.

Because the international legal system traditionally lags behind developments in the domestic laws of the respective nations, the movement toward preventing environmental harm remains on the distant horizon of international law.

Of course, the relative rate at which pollution prevention and cleaner production concepts are incorporated into international law will largely depend on both the rate at which these concepts receive wider incorporation into the domestic laws of nation-states and the wealth of exogenous factors that shape international affairs and law generally. This lack of attention to elements of improving the environmental characteristics of industrial ecosystems—encouraging pollution prevention, reuse of resources, and the systems aspects of cleaner production—in current international environmental law is troubling in at least two respects.

First, with the increasing globalization of economic development at the regional and multilateral level—with the increasing emphasis on free trade and free trade agreements—there is increasing demand for international environmental agreements.

As the field of international environmental law continues to grow, it will play a major role in determining how environmental protection priorities are developed. It is therefore important to ensure that developments in international environmental law shift to providing incentives for systemwide reduction of pol-. Absent such measures, there is the increased risk that these newly emerging laws may hinder the more efficient use and reuse of resources at the global level.

Second, as the globalization of economic development continues to expand, international environmental laws not only must avoid disincentives to improving the environmental characteristics of entire industrial ecosystems, but must provide an impetus for the adoption of these systems-based approaches. The external factors that hinder the broader adoption of pollution prevention, frugal resource use, and a systems approach to environmental issues at the national level are even more numerous and insidious at the international level.

Therefore, law must serve a larger role in encouraging those environmentally preferable practices. International environmental law, like many national domestic environmental laws, is directed primarily to controlling pollution at the end of processes.

A more comprehensive approach is needed to encourage systemwide changes in complex production and consumption practices. A wide range of regulatory approaches and devices could be incorporated to encourage systems approaches to addressing environmental concerns in international environmental law.

A number of these approaches are discussed below; however, the list laid out here is in no way exhaustive. Moreover, the following approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and the best regulatory approach may consist of a combination of these, as well as other potential approaches.

There are four general approaches to environmental law and regulation: i liability schemes; ii command-and-control; iii market structure strategies strategies for developing or defining a market, such as take-back legislation ; and iv market-based strategies. At the international level, states are liable for harm from transboundary pollution under the doctrine of state responsibility. However, the system is cumbersome and little used. Moreover, it does not appear to be the leading contender for further international development to address global environmental issues.

The second, and most widely used, approach to environmental law and regulation at both the national and the international level is the command-and-control approach.

The principal benefit of such strategies is apparent certainty although they often bring with them many unintended and uncertain consequences. Because of the potential certainty inherent in command-and-control strategies, they remain critical for addressing environmental problems with irreversibilities, such as acute toxic pollution and loss of species.

This certainty has made this approach to environmental regulation the strategy of choice for many, if. Increasingly, however, it is recognized that we have reached the limits of command-and-control regulations and must move toward more market-oriented strategies i. The economic argument for market-oriented strategies, such as taxes and tradable emission permits, is that they can achieve the same level of environmental protection provided by command-and-control regulatory approaches but at less expense.

This is because market-based strategies in particular provide the flexibility for firms to select the lowest-cost method of achieving the selected level of environmental protection. Moreover, the flexibility provided by such strategies also encourages technological innovation. There is, however, a view to the contrary among some environmentalists, namely, that market-oriented approaches to environmental protection are a furtive way to roll back environmental standards.

Attacking command-and-control strategies, or liability schemes as tempting as that surely is for many , therefore, may not be the best approach to shifting the regulatory focus to market-oriented approaches. Rather, such a regulatory shift may be most easily achieved through cooperation between regulators and environmentalists to demonstrate the benefits of market-oriented strategies and to develop appropriate confidence-building mechanisms as a prelude to a shift from command-and-control strategies.

Negotiation and other confidence-building mechanisms can take place either within the context of the regulatory process among government, industry, and environmentalists such as the Environmental Protection Agency's [EPA's] ''regneg," or negotiated regulation, approach to the regulations under the Clean Air Act Amendments , or outside the regulatory process such as the Environmental Defense Fund's efforts to assist the McDonalds fast-food chain with its waste reduction program.

Because of the relative lack of international environmental regulations, negotiation and confidence-building efforts are particularly important at the international level to fill the void left by law. Moreover, because such efforts provide for a degree of innovation, flexibility, and less politicized decision making not usually found in the context of international agreements or national laws, they can be an important impetus for furthering environmental protection efforts.

Regardless of one's opinion of their results, past efforts at confidence building provide some guidance about what elements are necessary for such efforts to be successful. The process must be open to all parties that make the effort to participate.

The process must also be transparent—that is, all the materials used in, and stemming from, the process must be available publicly. To avoid even the. Thus, at times financial and technical support will have to be provided to the environmental organizations.

Further, to develop long-term credibility, monitoring mechanisms must be built into negotiated agreements. Credibility is perhaps the most important ingredient in the confidence-building process.

If governments or industries are perceived as being disingenuous, confidence-building mechanisms will prove futile. Similarly, if environmentalists are perceived as being incapable of dealing in good faith, industry will refuse to work with them.

Credibility involves many elements, on all sides of the negotiating table, with regard to the presentation of commitments, positions, rhetoric, and "facts. For example, if a market-based strategy is used in an inappropriate situation and environmental harm results, credibility will be lost even if the strategy was a product of negotiated decision making.

If, however, a negotiated approach results in both environmental and economic gain—a "win-win" situation—then credibility levels will increase accordingly.

Thus, if industry wants to develop trust among environmentalists, it must ensure that joint efforts result in real environmental benefits.

Finally, industry and environmentalists must be pragmatic about what they think they can achieve through negotiation. Industry must realize that the international environmental community is not of one mind—there will always be a watchdog Watching the watchdog—and dissension to almost any settlement is likely from some segment of the environmental community. Industry must also realize that the confidence it seeks from such exercises does not derive from the unanimous adoption of the result but from the insulation provided by the open process itself.

Similarly, environmentalists must recognize that negotiation is a process of compromise, which requires them to develop their goals and set priorities among them. Moreover, both must recognize that, even if a compromise does not result from a particular negotiation effort, if all parties have participated openly and honestly, confidence levels will increase and assist in future endeavors.

Finally, industry and environmentalists must realize that confidence-building negotiation exercises are not a replacement for participatory governmental and intergovernmental processes. They are, however, a vital component of forward-thinking environmental protection strategies.

Ideally it would be desirable to have all external environmental costs be fully internalized into markets through proper pricing of environmental values, which are now largely free or otherwise underpriced. This ideal cannot, of course, be achieved in practice, but the need for cost internalization is generally recognized. In the broader context of sustainable development, the need for cost internaliza-. The United States and other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD already accept this principle, in theory at least, although implementation through.

One method for internalizing environmental costs that is now being considered in the context of efforts to halt global warming is to sell limited numbers of marketable pollution rights, or permits, on open markets. This method is particularly appealing internationally with regard to resources generally thought of as part of the global commons e.

While pollution rights raise interesting questions of environmental ethics and equity, such rights do force companies to include at least some artificial measure of their environmental costs as real costs, and thus provide an incentive for companies to reduce them.

An alternative method of encouraging international internalization of environmental costs is to allow national governments to place countervailing duties on imported products equal to the production subsidy the goods receive in the country of origin as a result of less stringent environmental regulations. The precautionary principle requires that if a particular action can be shown to pose a threshold risk of harm, then the proponents of the action must prevent or terminate that activity unless they can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the activity will not degrade the environment.

The precautionary principle is closely related to the principle of pollution prevention; each seeks to avoid environmental harms before they occur. The precautionary principle is also closely related to the principle of sustainable development; each maintains that humankind will confine its actions to those activities that do not cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Thus, the precautionary principle provides important common ground between international environmental law and efforts to prevent environmental damage and is a natural starting point for the wider incorporation of such preventive measures into international environmental law.

It is therefore encouraging that the precautionary principle is increasingly being developed as a central tenet of international environmental law, as in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration, recently adopted at the United Nations Conference.

Although international environmental law remains largely media-specific, it has shown a proclivity for pollution prevention as an environmental protection strategy. For example, the Montreal Protocol 15 ultimately contemplates a ban on chlorofluorocarbons, requiring companies to redesign their production systems and products to eliminate ozone-depleting gases.

A similar-approach is likely to be followed with respect to reducing global warming emissions in protocols negotiated to control the emissions. These and other efforts at the international level provide substantial support for pollution prevention or designing pollutants, to the greatest extent possible, out of the production process.

Future international agreements should recognize the success of these pollution prevention schemes and should adopt, where appropriate, similar formats. Perhaps, however, these future efforts should focus greater attention on providing incentives for pollution prevention than on the command-and-control efforts discussed above.

While pollution prevention can assist companies to minimize their wastes, it does not address the ultimate disposition of any unavoidable wastes from the product cycle. International environmental law can play a vital role in encouraging reuse and recycling by helping to create a market for "waste. Such recycling and reuse requirements can be brought about both through international laws e.

Reuse and recycling requirements can be achieved through a variety of legal mechanisms. For instance, law could be used to create incentives, such as lower tariff schedules for products with higher percentages of recycled content. If incentives prove unfeasible, law could place regulatory burdens, such as embargoes or higher tariffs, on. Law can also assist in ensuring that a sufficient supply of reusable and recyclable wastes is available to support a market for waste through mechanisms such as the deposit system in Sweden for aluminum cans.

Recycling and reuse requirements are now attracting increased international attention since the enactment of a Danish law imposing glass reuse requirements on the foreign and domestic companies selling certain products in bottles in Denmark.

Public International Law

It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Editors: Chaytor , B. Gray and Beatrice Chaytor. It is a pleasure to do that because the book is a contribution to the cause of capacity building for development and implementation of environmental law in Africa, a goal towards which I have had an undivided focus over the last two decades.

This article is submitted by Anshika Agarwal , pursuing B. The article aims to analyse all such policies and sources of laws undertaken by the world to combat the environmental crisis. Climate changes, greenhouse emissions, global warming, upsurge in the levels of pollution, technological advancements, and anthropogenic activities have constantly played a collective role in blemishing the environment thereby causing disturbances in the ecological cycles. The international data compiled as per the reports of the World Meteorological Organisation reveals to be the second hottest year on record after The Report on Global Climate Change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned the international market about the catastrophic consequences that the world would face if the global warming temperatures exceed 1.

International Environmental Law

Environmental law is a collective term encompassing aspects of the law that provide protection to the environment. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment , may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law. Early examples of legal enactments designed to consciously preserve the environment, for its own sake or human enjoyment, are found throughout history. In the common law , the primary protection was found in the law of nuisance , but this only allowed for private actions for damages or injunctions if there was harm to land.

Shapiro Memorial Law Library. International environmental law is an ever-changing, constantly expanding, and intriguing topic for international legal research. When decisions and collaborations occur between nations across international boundaries and treaties or agreements are made to cooperate for environmental concerns, disputes inevitably transpire because of trade implications for the respective nations, safety concerns and cleanliness of environmental resources among shared borders, or problems with enforcement mechanisms for liability under agreements or treaty provisions relating to the environment. The vastness of this area of international law includes the environmental sub-issues of population, biodiversity, global climate change, ozone depletion, preserving the Antarctic regions, movement of toxic and hazardous substances, land or vessel-based pollution, dumping, conservation of marine living resources, trans-boundary air and water pollution, desertification, and nuclear damage, among others. To begin research in international environmental law, a researcher should have a basic understanding of international law and authority: for example, knowledge of treaty research and an awareness of the types of international agreements and their effect in nations of the world as result of reservations, understandings, or declarations.

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International environmental law is a body of international law concerned with protecting the environment, primarily through bilateral and multilateral international agreements. International environmental law developed as a subset of international law in the mid-twentieth century. Although conservation movements developed in many nations in the nineteenth century, these movements typically only addressed environmental concerns within a single nation. A growing body of environmental scientific evidence from the s and s, however, illustrated global environmental stresses, along with the need for a multinational solution to environmental issues. Scientific research established that air and water pollution , overfishing, and other environmental issues often have effects that reach far beyond the borders of any particular nation. By the lates, the international community realized that an international approach to environmental issues was required.

Soft law regards to international norms that are deliberately non-binding in character, but are of great legal relevance. This has unique policies that lie between law and politics. Noticeable examples include resolutions by international organizations and global plans of actions of conduct.

1 Comments

Bernd H.
21.05.2021 at 03:46 - Reply

As far as specialisation is concerned, international environmental law has come a long way from its origins in the application of broad principles derived from state sovereignty to environmental issues.

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