Equality among Unequals in International Environmental Law: Differential Treatment for Developing Countries

By Anita Margrethe Halvorssen | Go to book overview

extinguishing present inequalities, there will remain nothing to bequeath to the future". 159 However, Weiss seems to be aware of this problem when she asserts that a state existing in extreme poverty today, will not be willing to join in efforts to conserve the planet for future generations. She suggests the use of incentives to raise the standard of living in poor countries. According to Weiss, intra-generational justice requires wealthier countries and communities to assist impoverished ones in realizing equitable access to the economic benefits from the natural resources and to help them protect these resources. 160

Understandably, developing countries struggling with poverty and indebtedness at present, have not made remedying environmental problems for the sake of present generations a priority, let alone future generations. Industrialized countries, on the other hand, have made certain efforts to protect and restore the environment, in addition to contingency planning for the future, though in many cases they are only half-hearted. Perhaps the solution lies in working on both fronts simultaneously. However, this would entail a transfer of funds and technical assistance (using grants, joint ventures etc.) to developing countries to enable them to deal with their present problems, 161 at the same time as they plan for the future. If one examines the more recent international environmental agreements, assuming they are implemented, this seems to be the direction we are headed. For instance, the Climate Change Convention and its Kyoto Protocol have the potential of moving large amounts of public and private investment capital from the industrialized countries to the developing countries. 162


Notes
1.
Brundtland Commission's Report, supra Chapter 1 note 15.
2.
See CALDWELL, supraChapter 1 note 12, at 202. Ecodevelopment is the short term for ecologically sound development. Id.
3.
See id. at 200, 201.
4.
See id.
5.
See id.
6.
See id.
7.
SeeBrundtland Commission's Report, supra Chapter 1 note 15, at 8, 43-46.
8.
See id.
9.
Id. at 43.
10.
Id. at 44.
11.
SeeCALDWELL, supra Chapter 1 note 12, at 210.
12.
SeeHandl, supra Chapter 2 note 206.
13.
See Robert Solow, An Invited Lecture on the Occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary of Resources for the Future, October 1992:An Almost Practical Step Toward Sustainability (visited Mar. 7, 1999) >http://www.rff.org<.

-60-

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Equality among Unequals in International Environmental Law: Differential Treatment for Developing Countries
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Cases vii
  • Major Treaties and Other International Instruments ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 7
  • 2 - Background 11
  • Notes 31
  • 3 - Sustainable Development 41
  • Notes 60
  • 4 - Facilitating the Participation of Developing Countries -- Sources of Conflict Regarding Their Treatment in the International Regulatory Process 67
  • Notes 80
  • 5 - Promoting the Participation of Developing States -- Incentives and Disincentives in Some International Environmental Agreements 85
  • Notes 108
  • 6 - International Institutional Structures 117
  • Notes 139
  • 7 - Special Funding Mechanisms 149
  • Notes 160
  • 8 - The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (ngos) and Other Major Groups in Promoting Universal Participation 167
  • Notes 177
  • 9 - Conclusion 181
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms 185
  • Selected Bibliography 187
  • Index 195
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