Built in to every multilateral environmental agreement is a dilemma: how
to incorporate justice and fairness on the one hand and effectiveness on the
other. Our immense difficulty in meeting this two-edged imperative highlights
the fact that we are, at best, at an early stage in the development of
international environmental ethics, and that no coherent and effective ethical
system yet exists in this context. This remarkable book starts from a
conviction that the principle of common but differentiated responsibility
(CBDR) offers the best way forward toward the much-desired goal of sustainable
Presenting a full-scale, multidisciplinary assessment of the feasibility of
the principle of CBDR in multilateral environmental agreements, encompassing
legal and policy status perspectives as well as historical developments and
future prospects, this study identifies issues and aspects in the theoretical
and practical application of the CBDR principle. The author responds with
in-depth knowledge and awareness to such specific questions as the following:
What does the principle of common but differentiated responsibility entail in
international environmental law, with special reference to international
How is the principle reflected in the burden-sharing design of current
What problems and challenges does the practical application of the CBDR
principle present to the international community and individual countries as
well as to the international environmental regimes themselves?
What factors should be taken into account when assessing the success or
failure of the principle?
What is the status of the principle in international environmental law
(currently and possibly in the future), and what are its implications in the
broader international context?
The author examines methods for differentiation from both theoretical and
actual treaty-level viewpoints. She offers examples from the negotiation
history of international environmental treaties to shed light on the
importance of information-sharing and wide participation during the
negotiations. Recognizing that, in the international environmental field,
problems of economic development and the geopolitics of global wealth
distribution soon come to the fore, and that each state’s right to development
should not be too heavily restricted under international environmental
regimes, she demonstrates that the CBDR principle has a strong potential to
formally integrate the environment and development at the international level.
The study will be of immeasurable value in promoting understanding of how CBDR
actually works. It will help lawyers and policymakers perceive how different
parties want to use the principle, and to discern clearly what options could
be chosen by the parties, which aspects are crucial, and what factors
influence the effectiveness of the arrangements.
Preface . Abbreviations. 1. Introduction. 2. Background
for and Development of CBDR. 3. Operationalization of CBDR in
Multilateral Environmental Agreements. 4. CBDR: A Regulatory and Regime
Management Analysis. 5. Status and Future Prospects of the Principle of
CBDR. 6. Completing and Concluding Remarks. Bibliography. Table of
Treaties. Other International Legal Documents. International Soft Law
Documents. Table of Cases. Index.