Stockholm Conference on Environmental
Law and Justice,  6-9 September 2006

Jutta Brunnée (Toronto): International Environmental Law, Climate Change and Global Environmental Justice

This paper will explore the extent to which the structure and process of international environmental law can facilitate environmental justice in the context of global concerns such as climate change. The paper will begin by sketching out a working definition of environmental justice, drawing together procedural and distributive elements and paying particular attention to the North-South dimension to global environmental justice. It will then examine the conceptual structure of international environmental law against that backdrop and consider how core concepts, such as the no-harm principle, common concern, sustainable development and common but differentiated responsibilities, measure up to environmental justice considerations. Finally, it will reflect on the role that treaty-based regimes play in fleshing out and implementing these concepts, and in promoting environmental justice considerations. The ramifications of the processes of international environmental law-making and implementation will be considered throughout the paper. It will be argued that structural and procedural progress towards environmental justice is most likely to be made in the context of treaty-based regimes




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