Global Environmental Governance

Global Environmental Governance

Law and Regulation for the 21st Century

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Louis J. Kotzé

This timely book brings much-needed clarity to the concept of ‘environmental governance’ as manifested in the global regulatory domain. The author argues that despite being used as a fashionable term by many – including economists, political scientists, environmentalists and, increasingly, lawyers – its theoretical contours and conceptual content remain unclear, incoherent, and inconsistent. In addressing this problem, the book begins by describing globalization as a general context of governance. It comprehensively interrogates and clarifies both the governance and global governance concepts, and then explains aspects and components of global environmental governance. Finally it investigates the role of law in global environmental governance.

Mapping the definitional field of global environmental governance

Louis J. Kotzé

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law


The environment is a specific issue area in the global governance milieu that increasingly requires a global regulatory response. This is so because environmental degradation and resource depletion, for example, lead to externalities which ‘may persist within a single jurisdiction, across political jurisdictions, or intertemporally’.2 Global governance, as we have seen, typically deals with these externalities to the extent that it seeks to solve collective global problems, reduce costs, and protect and increase common benefits and interests. It is a regulatory response through which the world endeavours to create and apply institutional arrangements that make regulatory action possible in the global context. This would apply equally to global environmental issues.

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