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Ch.1 International Environmental Law: Changing Context, Emerging Trends, and Expanding Frontiers

Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

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, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 09 August 2022

Subject(s):
Freshwater — Biodiversity — Climate change — Marine living resources

This chapter provides an overview of international environmental law, which is the legal and regulatory framework devised by the community of sovereign states to address global environmental problems. These problems include the potential for runaway climate change, vanishing biodiversity, increasing freshwater scarcity, and severe degradation of marine resources and ocean ecosystems. In the last decade, international environmental law has acquired further breadth, depth, nuance, complexity, and reach. In particular, it is more deeply interconnected with policy and legal efforts in many other fields, including international trade and investment, human rights and migration, energy, disaster response, armed conflict, technology innovation and intellectual property protection. The chapter then explores and illustrates the ways in which international environmental law has evolved over the last decade. It highlights how the field has adapted to a changing geo-political context, as well as to the possibilities and limits of global regulation in addressing the complex, polycentric, and intractable nature of environmental harms.

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