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Part I Context, Ch.6 Instrument Choice

David M Driesen

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

Subsidies — International environmental law

This chapter addresses the problem of choosing environmental law instruments in international environmental law. It begins with a discussion of the various environmental protection instruments, such as environmental benefit trading, pollution taxes, subsidies, and traditional regulation. The chapter suggests that, for the most part, international environmental law has left the choice between traditional regulation and market-based instruments to nation-states. Efforts to create new international environmental law focus more upon forging agreement about goals than on how to achieve goals, since states play such a huge role in implementation and countries can achieve any given goal in a variety of ways. But some devices, which some experts treat as environmental instruments—such as subsidies, liability, and trade sanctions—more often become part of international environmental law. The chapter then discusses the extent to which the desire for international environmental benefit trading has driven a departure from the norm of leaving the choice between market mechanisms and traditional standards to implementing polities.

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