Stephen J. Turner
Environmental Rights, Global Environmental Governance, Constitutional Law, Company Law, Trade Law, Non-State Actors, Climate Change Law
The development of an international substantive environmental right on a global level has long been a contested issue. To a limited extent environmental rights have developed in a fragmented way through different legal regimes. This book examines the potential for the development of a global environmental right that would create legal duties for all types of decision-makers and provide the bedrock for a new system of international environmental governance. Taking a problem solving approach, the book seeks to demonstrate how straightforward and logical changes to the existing global legal architecture would address some of the fundamental root causes of environmental degradation. It puts forward a draft global environmental right that would integrate duties for both state and non-state actors within reformed systems of environmental governance and a rational framework for business and industry to adhere to in order that those systems could be made operational. It also examines the failures of the existing international climate change regime and explains how the draft global environmental right could remedy existing deficits.
(2014) A Global Environmental Right. Earthscan by Routledge.
Neil A.F. Popovic
environmental justice, environmental rights, international human rights, state constitution, environmental racism, environmental degradation, poverty, social rights, environmental hazards, inequality, civil rights
Notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, environmental racism thrives in the United States. Its manifestations include toxic waste dumps on indigenous lands, hazardous industrial facilities in communities of color, lead paint in decrepit housing projects, and use of dangerous pesticides in industrial agriculture. Environmental racism feeds on and perpetuates the social, economic and political marginalization of low-income communities and communities of color. As such, environmental racism in the United States represents a serious blight on the country’s human rights record.
Discriminatory siting decisions for environmentally hazardous facilities and uneven enforcement decisions do not necessarily result from consciously racist policy choices. More likely, they issue from a political and social system that marginalizes the participation and concern of communities of color, often through ostensibly neutral criteria. The effect, however, is no less racist than overt discrimination.
The United States has a substantial body of both environmental and civil rights laws, but none of these laws addresses the link between racism and environmental quality. 2 At best, environmental laws can enhance protection of the environment while civil rights laws can facilitate the rectification of overt racial discrimination. Neither body of law, however, addresses the impact of environmental degradation on human communities, and neither deals specifically with environmental racism.
(1996) 15 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 338 pp. 344-47
Constitutional law, United States constitution, environmental law, right to clean and healthy environment, rights of future generations, natural resources, national natural resources, constitutional amendment
“After having lain dormant for almost twenty years, proposals for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would elevate environmental protection to the status of a fundamental right are on the rise. Since 1990, several such measures have been offered by groups as diverse as New Jersey fifth graders and well-funded environmental preservation organizations. Now, led by concerned members of thirty-seven state legislatures, a politically viable initiative is fully underway to have such a resolution introduced in Congress. See Richard L. Brodsky and Richard L. Russman, A Constitutional Initiative, Defenders, Fall 1996, at 37. The proposed language of their environmental rights amendment declares:
The natural resources of the nation are the heritage of present and future generations. The right of each person to clean and healthful air and water, and to the protection of other natural resources of the nation, shall not be infringed by any person.
These two sentences, faithful to the constitutional tradition of conciseness, express an elegant message of national commitment to environmental protection and to a future of environmental sustainability. But what a terrible idea it is to embody that message in the form of an amendment to the Constitution” (46).
(1996-1997) 11 Natural Resources & Environment pp. 46-49
constitutional law, environmental law, environmental rights, rights to environmental quality, policy, politics, environmental policy, United States Constitution
(1999) 74 Notre Dame Law Review 245