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Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

18. Climate Change Law  

This chapter examines the fast-moving area of law relating to climate change. This includes a considerable body of public international law, from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the legally innovative Paris Agreement 2015. The chapter also considers legal developments at the EU and UK levels, which both contain a rich body of climate law and policy. The EU and the UK are both seen as ‘world leaders’ in climate law and policy. In EU law, this is due to the EU greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and the EU’s leadership in advocating ambitious greenhouse gas mitigation targets and in implementing these targets flexibly across the EU Member States through a range of regulatory mechanisms. The UK introduced path-breaking climate legislation in the Climate Change Act 2008, which provided an inspiring model of climate governance, legally entrenching long-term planning for both mitigation and adaptation. The chapter concludes with an exploration of climate litigation, a new and growing field of inquiry.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

15. Climate change, ozone depletion, and air quality  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter deals with legal controls to address global climate change, ozone depletion, and air quality, the complexity of which problems means that many different types of approaches are necessary across a wide range of activities. This can be a little daunting at first because many issues overlap. In each of these areas, there are laws at international, European, and national levels that need to be considered. It makes sense, however, to first consider some general issues and also the international response to various forms of air and atmospheric pollution. The range of problems affecting the atmosphere stretches across the full range of human activities, from highly toxic fumes emitted from a complicated industrial process, to such seemingly mundane activities as lighting a fire, driving a car, or using spray-on deodorant. Air pollutants come in many forms, and the main ones will be discussed in the chapter.

Chapter

Cover International Law

10. International environmental law  

International environmental law is an area of international law where states have decided to cooperate with each other in order to fulfil certain goals of common interest and, for the most part, its rules and principles belong in the category of the international law of cooperation. This chapter discusses the most important parts of international environmental law and its main legal sources. It presents the fundamental principles of international environmental law, including those that seek to prevent damage to the environment and those that seek to ensure a balanced approach to environmental protection. It provides an overview of the most important parts of the substantial regulation in international environmental law, including the legal regime for the protection of the atmosphere, the conservation of nature and the regulation of hazardous substances. It also discusses features related to implementation and enforcement that are particular to international environmental law.

Chapter

Cover International Law

10. International environmental law  

International environmental law is an area of international law where states have decided to cooperate with each other in order to fulfil certain goals of common interest and, for the most part, its rules and principles belong in the category of the international law of cooperation. This chapter discusses the most important parts of international environmental law and its main legal sources. It presents the fundamental principles of international environmental law, including those that seek to prevent damage to the environment and those that seek to ensure a balanced approach to environmental protection. It provides an overview of the most important parts of the substantial regulation in international environmental law, including the legal regime for the protection of the atmosphere, the conservation of nature and the regulation of hazardous substances. It also discusses features related to implementation and enforcement that are particular to international environmental law.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

31. Climate Change  

Lavanya Rajamani

Climate change is considered to be the greatest threat to human rights of our generation. This chapter discusses the challenges posed by climate change and mitigation measures to the enjoyment of human rights and the obligations that states have under international human rights law to respond to these challenges. It introduces international climate change law and how this has developed to accommodate human rights concerns. The chapter ends by surveying the recent turn to national and international litigation, whereby human rights arguments have been deployed to force states to adequately respond to climate change.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

22. Environmental law  

Elisa Morgera and Kati Kulovesi

This chapter examines EU environmental law. It first introduces the legal framework of EU environmental policy by explaining its historic evolution, as well as its current objectives and principles. It then explores three representative areas of EU environmental law—nature conservation, water, and climate change—with a view to highlighting two trends of broader relevance to the understanding of EU environmental law as a whole: the interaction between environmental protection and economic development, and the interaction between EU and international environmental law. The chapter illustrates the very broad and ambitious objectives of EU environmental law, its progressive development and its continuing challenges, distinguishing areas of the EU environmental acquis that appear at different stages of development. Attention is focused on cutting-edge regulatory approaches in relation to freshwater and climate change. This chapter also demonstrates that the study of EU environmental law would not be complete without an understanding of the role of the EU as a global environmental actor, proactively engaged in the development and implementation of international environmental law. To a significant extent, EU environmental law aims to fulfil the international environmental obligations of the Union and/or its Member States. In addition, the EU increasingly develops its internal environmental regulation to anticipate or even influence the making of international environmental law.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

21. Environmental law  

Elisa Morgera and Kati Kulovesi

This chapter examines EU environmental law. It first introduces the legal framework of EU environmental policy by explaining its historic evolution, as well as its current objectives and principles. It then explores three representative areas of EU environmental law - nature conservation, water, and climate change - with a view to highlighting two trends of broader relevance to the understanding of EU environmental law as a whole: the interaction between environmental protection and economic development, and the interaction between EU and international environmental law.

Chapter

Cover International Law

22. International Environmental Law  

Catherine Redgwell

The development of international environmental law is typically divided into three periods. The first demonstrates little genuine environmental awareness but rather views environmental benefits as incidental to largely economic concerns such as the exploitation of living natural resources. The second demonstrates a significant rise in the number of treaties directed to pollution abatement and to species and habitat conservation. Here an overt environmental focus is evident, yet the approach is still largely reactive and piecemeal. The final phase, which characterizes current international environmental law, demonstrates a precautionary approach to environmental problems of global magnitude such as biodiversity conservation and climate change. Concern transcends individual States, with certain global problems now considered the common concern of humankind. This chapter defines international environmental law, its key sources and actors, and difficulties of enforcement, before embarking on a sectoral examination of the extensive treaty law applicable in this field.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

20. The Protection of the Environment  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

This chapter focuses on international environmental law. First, it covers certain old precedents and then examines the emergence and consolidation of environmental principles between 1972 and 2020, with particular attention to the emergence of customary international law norms (prevention, co-operation, environmental impact assessment) in this area. Secondly, it surveys the substance of international environmental law, focusing on climate change as a prominent illustration of law-making in this field, and examining compliance procedures, as developed since the end of the 1980s. Thirdly, it discusses the operation of State responsibility and civil liability mechanisms for environmental harm.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

6. Climate Change and Atmospheric Pollution  

This chapter looks, inter alia, at how international law has been used or could be used to help tackle the most significant environmental challenge of our time. This challenge is global climate change. Not many topics provide a good illustration of the importance of a globally inclusive regulatory regime focused on preventive and precautionary approaches to environmental harm—or of the problems of negotiating one on such a complex subject. Solutions to global climate change have not been easily forthcoming. The chapter looks at the efforts of the international regulatory regime to address these challenges by recourse to novel ‘market based’ mechanisms and differential treatment. An example is the post-Kyoto scheme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through ‘nationally determined contributions’. In the end, the chapter argues, it is likely to be technology that enables us to grapple with the causes of climate change, not law, but law can drive technological change, as it has with ozone depletion and acid rain.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

7. Nuclear Energy and the Environment  

This chapter gives the example of the Chernobyl reactor accident in 1986 to show that nuclear power creates risks for all states, irrespective of whether they choose this type of energy. Every state, and the global environment, is potentially affected by the possibility of radioactive contamination, the spread of toxic substances derived from nuclear energy, and the long-term health hazards consequent on exposure to radiation. Whether the nuclear power industry has now attained acceptable levels of risk to international society cannot be answered in the abstract, the chapter argues, or solely by reference to regulatory standards and technical capabilities, but must take into account public perceptions of risk, as well as the alternatives and the competing risks, such as climate change. The chapter notes that for all governments there are inevitably difficult policy choices in which there are few electoral advantages.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

9. Prevention of Marine Pollution  

This chapter focuses on threats of pollution to the health of the marine environment. It focuses in particular on marine pollution. The oceans constitute a large expanse of common space. The oceans have been freely used for maritime commerce, exploitation of living resources, extraction of oil and gas, and as a disposal area for waste products for centuries. The law needs to protect marine ecosystems as much as any others on land. Climate change has now begun to harm marine ecosystems and international law needs to consider this. The chapter aims to demonstrate the extent to which an international legal regime for the control of marine pollution from ships has developed since 1972, and the degree to which it has proved effective. The big question is: how can it be made more effective in the future?

Book

Cover Environmental Law

Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, and Eloise Scotford

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials provides students with a deep understanding of environmental law while also encouraging critical reflection of legal reasoning and pointing out areas of controversy and debate. The authors present a wide range of extracts from UK, EU, and international cases, legislation, and articles to help support learning and demonstrate both how the law works in practice and how it should or could work, clearly guiding students through key areas while providing insightful explanations and analysis. Topics have been carefully selected to support a wide range of environmental law courses, within law school and beyond. These include pollution control, nature conservation, climate change regulation, town planning, and water regulation, all incorporating aspects of law from local, UK, EU and international legal cultures. With its unique combination of extracts and author discussion, this new edition provides a wide-ranging, stimulating, and fresh approach to environmental law, which can be relied upon throughout your course and career. This book is also accompanied by an Online Resource Centre that features updates to the law, further reading suggestions, and useful weblinks.

Book

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment
Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment places legislation on the protection of the environment firmly at the core of its argument. It uses sharp and thorough analysis of the law, sharing knowledge and experience. The chapters provide a unique perspective on the implications of international regulation, promoting a wide understanding of the pertinent issues impacting upon the law. The text starts by looking at international law and the environment. It looks at the rights and obligations of states concerning the protection of the environment. The text also considers interstate enforcement which includes state responsibility, compliance, and dispute settlement. It moves on to consider non-state actors such as environmental rights, liability, and crimes. Climate change and atmospheric pollution are given some consideration. The text also examines the law of the sea and protection of the marine environment. Conservation is dealt with in detail, including the conservation of nature, ecosystems, and biodiversity and marine living resources. Finally, the text looks at international trade.

Chapter

Cover International Law

19. The protection of the environment  

This chapter studies the development of international environmental law. A significant proportion of international environmental law obligations is contained in treaties, which often provide for institutional mechanisms or procedural obligations for their implementation. There exists a dense network of treaty obligations relating to environmental protection, and to specific sectors such as climate change, the conservation of endangered species, or the handling of toxic materials. Indeed, though customary international law knows of no general legal obligation to protect and preserve the environment, certain customary rules nevertheless have been found in specific treaties, case law, and occasionally even soft law instruments. The most significant such rule is the principles of prevention, often taking the form of the ‘good neighbour’ principle. States are required to exercise due diligence in preventing their territory from being used in such a way so as to cause significant damage to the environment of another state.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

24. Green criminology  

Avi Brisman and Nigel South

Criminology must maintain relevance in a changing world and engage with new challenges. Perhaps pre-eminent among those facing the planet today are threats to the natural environment and, by extension, to human health and rights and to other species. A green criminology has emerged as a (now well-established) criminological perspective that addresses a wide range of crimes, harms and offences related to the environment and environmental victims. This chapter provides a review of green criminological work on climate change, consumption and waste, state-corporate and organized crimes, animal abuse, and wildlife trafficking. It also considers the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches to regulation, enforcement and control.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

15. Legal aspects of the protection of the environment  

This chapter discusses the role of international law in addressing environmental problems. It reviews the salient legal principles: the preventive principle, the precautionary principle, the concept of sustainable development, the polluter-pays principle, the sic utere tuo principle, and the obligation of environmental impact assessment. It gives an overview of the key multilateral conventions covering traffic in endangered species, protection of the ozone layer, transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, climate change, and protection of the marine environment.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

14. Green criminology  

Avi Brisman and Nigel South

Criminology must maintain relevance in a changing world and engage with new challenges. Perhaps pre-eminent among those facing the planet today are threats to the natural environment and, by extension, to human health and rights and to other species. A green criminology has emerged as a (now well established) criminological perspective that addresses a wide range of harms, offences, and crimes related to the environment and environmental victims. This chapter provides a review of green criminological work on climate change, consumption and waste, state-corporate and organized crimes, animal abuse, and wildlife trafficking. It also considers the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches to regulation and control.