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

By Anita Margrethe Halvorssen | Go to book overview

9
Conclusion

The growing recognition that ecological and economic systems are interconnected -- global interdependence -- has changed the nature of international affairs. One can no longer rely on economic growth in the traditional sense to solve all the world's problems. Development and environmental issues must be integrated, as articulated in the concept of sustainable development. In this new world order, the interests and needs of developing countries can no longer be disregarded in the context of solving global environmental problems, first of all because their activities increasingly add to global environmental problems. Secondly, developing states contain most of the world's genetic library, which we all depend on. There is no longer any doubt that in order to tackle global environmental problems, developing countries need to be included in the process of finding and implementing solutions.

Global environmental problems can only be solved if all or at least most nations participate in the creation and implementation of international environmental agreements. In this manner, the concept of sustainable development is translated into specific norms. In this study, I argue that to include incentives, in effect giving developing countries differential treatment, in international environmental agreements will promote such universal participation.

My review of the development of international environmental law has shown that there is an emerging pattern with regard to the use of incentives or differential treatment for developing countries. Increasingly, international environmental agreements are including provisions specifically providing differential treatment, such as delayed compliance schedules, and technical and financial assistance for developing countries. This trend must continue and become part of the framework of international environmental law. However, on the whole, incentives should only be used for an initial period, allowing the developing countries to "catch up" with the developed countries, while simultaneously addressing environmental problems.

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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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