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Part VI Actors, Ch.39 Sub-National Actors

Hari M Osofsky

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 March 2023

International environmental law — Sovereignty — International organizations

This chapter explores the evolving role of sub-national actors in international environmental law. As a matter of formal law, international environmental law is formed among sovereign nation-states; sub-national actors are treated as sub-units of their nation-states. However, sub-national actors, through transnational networks, are playing a growing role in international environmental governance. The chapter focuses on three aspects of sub-national actors' participation in international environmental law. First, it considers why including sub-national actors is crucial to solving international environmental problems. Second, it examines the emergence of networks interacting with international environmental law-making and each other at transnational, national, and sub-national scales. Third, it analyses how those networks interact directly with the formal processes of international environmental law-making and develop the parallel voluntary agreements in which sub-national actors pledge to uphold commitments made by nation-states.

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