Tag Archives: Pollution

Human Rights and the Environment: The Need for International Co-operation (W. Gormley)

Author(s)

W. Paul Gormley

Keywords

human right to decent and safe environment, legal obligations, international community, human rights norms

Abstract

None available

Citation

(1976) Sijthoff

Paper

Human Rights and the Environment: The Need for International Co-operation

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Climate Change Adaptation and the Structural Transformation of Environmental Law (J. B. Ruhl)

Author(s)

J. B. Ruhl

Keywords

climate change, environmental law, greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation, mitigation, policy, pollution, land law, decision methods, regulation, conciliation

Abstract

The path of environmental law has come to a cliff called climate change, and there is no turning around. As climate change policy dialogue emerged in the 1990s, however, the perceived urgency of attention to mitigation strategies designed to regulate sources of greenhouse gas emissions quickly snuffed out meaningful progress on the formulation of adaptation strategies designed to respond to the effects of climate change on humans and the environment. Only recently has this “adaptation deficit” become a concern now actively included in climate change policy debate. Previously treating talk of adaptation as taboo, the climate change policy world has begrudgingly accepted it into the fold as the reality of failed efforts to achieve global mitigation policy has combined with the scientific evidence that committed warming will continue the trend of climate change well into the future regardless of mitigation policy success.

But do not expect adaptation policy to play out for environmental law the way mitigation policy has and is likely to continue. Mitigation policy has been framed as an initiative primarily within the domain of environmental law – a form of pollution control on steroids – and thus it will be environmental law that makes the first move and other policy realms that apply support or pushback. By contrast, environmental law does not “own” adaptation policy; rather, numerous policy fronts will compete simultaneously for primacy and priority as people demand protection from harms and enjoyment of benefits that play out as climate change moves relentlessly forward. This makes it all the more pressing for environmental law, early in the nation’s formulation of adaptation policy, to find its voice and establish its place in the effort to close the adaptation deficit.

Toward that purpose, this Article examines the context and policy dynamics of climate change adaptation and identifies ten trends that will have profound normative and structural impacts on how environmental law fits in: 1) Shift in emphasis from preservationism to transitionalism in natural resources conservation policy. 2) Rapid evolution of property rights and liability rules associated with natural capital adaptation resources. 3) Accelerated merger of water law, land use law, and environmental law. 4) Incorporation of a human rights dimension in climate change adaptation policy. 5) Catastrophe and crisis avoidance and management as an overarching adaptation policy priority. 6) Frequent reconfigurations of trans-policy linkages and trade-offs at all scales and across scales. 7) Shift from “front end” decision methods relying on robust predictive capacity to “back end” decision methods relying on active adaptive management. 8) Greater variety and flexibility in regulatory instruments 9) Increased reliance on multi-scalar governance networks. 10) Conciliation.

Citation

(2009) 40 Environmental Law 343

Paper

Climate Change Adaptation and the Structural Transformation of Environmental Law

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The Right to a Healthy Life or the Right to Die Polluted?: The Emergence of a Human Rights to a Healthy Environment under International Law (S. Atapattu)

Author(s)

Sumudu Atapattu

Keywords

human right to a healthy environment, environmental protection, pollution, jurisprudence

Abstract

In an era that has witnessed much environmental destruction, as well as many strides taken to protect the environment, whether a new fundamental right to a clean environment should be recognized has become a hotly debated issue. Second perhaps only to the debate on sustainable development, the debate on the right to a healthy environment has attracted much jurisprudential debate with sharply divided views. 

It must be stressed at the outset that this discussion of a possible human right to a healthy environment should not be viewed as advocating an anthropocentric approach to environmental protection. Environmental issues encompass a much wider range of actors, affecting a much larger category of species than human rights violations. 

Citation

(2002) 16 Tulane Environmental Law Journal 65

Paper

The Right to a Healthy Life or the Right to Die Polluted?: The
Emergence of a Human Right to a Healthy Environment under International Law

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The New Accountability: Environmental Responsibility Across Borders (M. Mason)

Author(s)

Michael Mason

Keywords

population, accountability, environmental protection, health, ecological sustainability, borders, international agreements, national territories, state responsibility, pollution, transnational corporations

Abstract

The growth of pollution that crosses national borders represents a significant threat to human health and ecological sustainability. Various international agreements exist between countries to reduce risks to their populations, however there is often a mismatch between national territories of state responsibility and transboundary hazards. All too often, state priorities do not correspond to the priorities of the people affected by pollution, who often have little recourse against major polluters, particularly transnational corporations operating across national boundaries. Drawing on case studies, The New Accountability provides a fresh understanding of democratic accountability for transboundary and global harm and argues that environmental responsibility should be established in open public discussions about harm and risk. Most critically it makes the case that, regardless of nationality, affected parties should be able to demand that polluters and harm producers be held accountable for their actions and if necessary provide reparations.

Citation

Michael Mason, The New Accountability: Environmental Responsibility Across Borders (Earthscan, 2005)

Book

The New Accountability: Environmental Responsibility Across Borders

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Tatar v Romania – case comment

Author

James Harrison

Keywords

Human rights, environment, hazardous substances, health hazards, mining operations, pollution, right to respect for private and family life, risk management, Romania

Abstract

The applicants in this case, Vasile Gheorghe Tâtar and Paul Tâtar, lived approximately 100 metres from a gold mine in Baia Mare, Romania. The operators of the mine were authorised to use certain hazardous substances, including cyanide, in the mining process although the authorisation permit placed them under a general duty to protect the environment. Nevertheless, the applicants claimed that the operation of the mine had caused a violation of their rights under the European Convention on HumanRights because it entailed serious risks to human life and health. Originally, the application was based upon the right to life in Article 2 of the Convention. However, the Court decided to base its analysis on the right to private, family and home life under Article 8 of the Convention.

Citation

(2009) 21(3) Journal of Environmental Law 506-508.

Paper

Tatar v Romania – case comment

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