International law has become the key arena for protecting the global environment. Since the 1970s, literally hundreds of international treaties, protocols, conventions, and rules under customary law have been enacted to deal with such problems as global warming, biodiversity loss, and toxic pollution. Proponents of the legal approach to environmental protection have already achieved significant successes in such areas as saving endangered species, reducing pollution, and cleaning up whole regions, but skeptics point to ongoing environmental degradation to argue that international law is an ineffective tool for protecting the global environment.
In this book, Joseph DiMento reviews the record of international efforts to use law to make our planet more livable. He looks at how law has been used successfully—often in highly innovative ways—to influence the environmental actions of governments, multinational corporations, and individuals. And he also assesses the failures of international law in order to make policy recommendations that could increase the effectiveness of environmental law. He concludes that a "supranational model" is not the preferred way to influence the actions of sovereign nations and that international environmental law has been and must continue to be a laboratory to test approaches to lawmaking and implementation for the global community.
Joseph F. C. Dimento is Professor of Law and Society at the University of California–Irvine, where he heads the Research Group on International Environmental Cooperation.
Written in a way that will be accessible to non-specialists . . . this book will help them understand international legal processes relating to the environment, which is how most environmental issues are addressed these days. . . . The information is solid, the examples good, the theoretical structure useful, and the topic important.
~Elizabeth R. DeSombre
DiMento has mastered the intricacies of many pieces of this complex arena and has put them into a user-friendly format for any reader interested in the subject of our environment and how to protect it better on a global basis.
~Sustainable Communities Review
List of Acronyms
1. Worldwide Environmental Quality and the Role of Law
2. Law Trying to Save the Earth: Strategies, Institutions, Organizations
3. Law's Targets: Whose Behavior Needs to Be Influenced?
4. An Accounting: Successes and Failures in International Environmental Law
5. International Environmental Law: Expectations and Recommendations
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