Published In

Yearbook of International Environmental Law

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2000

Subjects

International environmental law; North-south relations; Common but differentiated responsibilities

Abstract

The author argues that international environmental law as a discipline has failed to respond to Third World concerns in a meaningful fashion. It has merely accommodated these concerns at the margins, as opposed to integrating them into the core of the discipline and its self-understanding. Two aspects of the standard, "accommodationist," approach are considered: (1) the tendency to provide an ahistorical account of the evolution of international environmental law; (2) the implicit or explicit portrayal of the South as a grudging participant in environmental regimes rather than being recognized as an active partner in an ongoing effort to identify the fundamental nature of environmental problems and the appropriate responses thereto. The author explores the ramifications of the standard approach in the context of an examination of the principle of, "common but differentiated responsibilities." She concludes by pleading in favour of an, "integrationist," approach, that brings the concerns of the South into the mainstream of the discipline.

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