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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Sustainable Development

Ulrich Beyerlin†

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 06 February 2023

Sustainable development — Equity — Biodiversity — Customary international law — Opinio juris — State practice

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 In its famous report Our Common Future of 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development, the so-called Brundtland Commission, understood ‘sustainable development’ (‘SD’) as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (ibid 43). Since that time, SD has proven particularly vexing for the international environmental law community. Although its meaning and scope are still far from clear, SD, at least since the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de...
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