Accute global awareness of environmental degradation seems at last to
have created a consensus that environmental obligations should be imposed on
decision-makers, whether state or non-state actors. However, although
substantive environmental rights have been developed to a limited degree,
there is as yet no international treaty or agreement that provides a globally
accepted substantive human right to a good or clean and healthy environment.
This impressive book proposes such a right. In unprecedented depth, the author
probes the legal obligations of decision-makers within states, companies,
multilateral development banks and the World Trade Organization and develops a
sound substantive human right that creates duties, both nationally and
internationally, by which all decision-makers are legally bound to follow
specific rules and procedures that would prevent or limit environmental
degradation stemming from their decisions.
Among the major issues dealt with in the course of the presentation are the
determination of an equitable form of compensation where less
environmentally-degrading alternatives are not viable;
anthropocentric approach vs. intrinsic rights for all ecosystems and natural
systems; problems of fixing qualitative standards;
problems arising from the differing economic capacities of states;
the extent to which state constitutional provisions relating to the
environment can direct and constrain legislators and policymakers;
effectiveness of responses to pressure upon multinational enterprises to take
the environment into consideration in their decision-making processes;
protection of indigenous and vulnerable communities; and
public participation in the environmental impact assessment process.
The annex provides the author’s draft accord between states for the
development and realization of a substantive environmental right.
This is the first book to formulate a full-fledged international legal right
ensuring that all peoples could enjoy an environment, in which all ecosystems
and natural systems are protected, and to demonstrate how such a right could
be instituted and work in practice. As such it not only represents a major
contribution to our knowledge and significantly enhances our understanding of
the issues examined, but also brilliantly exposes the obstacles blocking
environmental progress and powerfully clarifies the way ahead. It will be of
immeasurable value to anyone committed to turning back the tide of
Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. 1.
Introduction. 2. The Current Status of the Development of Environmental
Rights at National and International Levels. 3. The Debate Relating to
the Potential Development of a Substantive Environmental Right and the
Proposed Design of such a Right. 4. A Substantive Environmental Right
and the State Actor. 5. Companies and Multinational Enterprises. 6.
Multilateral Development Banks. 7. The World Trade Organization. 8.
Conclusion. Appendix: Draft Accord between States for the Development
and Realization of a Substantive Environmental Right. Bibliography. Table of
International Instruments. Table of International Cases. Table of National
Laws. Table of National Cases.