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Key Readings

  1. Birnie P, Boyle A, Redgwell C (2009) International Law and the Environment, 3rd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 1-58.

This first reading in the textbook will provide an introduction to international environmental law, and why and how it has developed. International environmental law is a new branch of international law. It is important to understand its standing as a novel body of law and what are the sources of that standing. This reading will introduce you to basic concepts and ideas. It will also give an overview of landmark events in the evolution of international environmental law, what were the influences and their outcomes. The major outcome has been the emergence of sustainability as a governing issue combined with the ongoing efforts to reconcile divergent interests of developed and developing nations.

  1. Galizzi P (2005) From Stockholm to New York, via Rio and Johannesburg: has the environment lost its way on the global agenda? Fordham International Law Journal 29(5) 952-1008.

This article analyses the place of the environment in the international agenda from the early 1970s when the environmental movement really began. Specifically, the article examines the 'comprehensive' international environmental agenda that has emerged within the sphere of the United Nations.

  1. McCloskey M (1999) The emperor has no clothes: the conundrum of sustainable development. Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 9(2) 153-159.

This critical review of the concept of the Brundtland's concept of sustainable development has the benefit of hindsight but is a thoughtful summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the concept.

  1. UNEP (2007) Interlinkages: governance for sustainability. In: Global Environment Outlook4. United Nations Environment Programme, pp. 3620-394.

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This provides a readable and accessible overview of the reasons for providing governance and law to address the problems facing global welfare.