- International environmental law — Sovereignty — Responsibility of states
This chapter assesses the role of the state in international environmental law. The starting point is the Westphalian notion of states' unimpaired freedom of action, increasingly revealed as a ‘myth’. The chapter then considers ideas of contemporary statehood—an element of a global system of environmental governance. Contemporary statehood and its relevance for international environmental law can best be illuminated by focusing on the roles assumed by states as authors, addressees, and guardians of international law. Finally, the chapter discusses the changing role of states in light of ongoing transformations in the international legal system, including the growing plurality of actors, norms, and institutions, as well as the growth of inter-linked networks of states and other actors.
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