Law and Policy for Sustainability
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by John C. Dernbach and James R. May
This chapter synthesizes some of the key lessons on the sustainability of shale gas from the 12 chapters provided by the contributing authors. The contributing authors were asked to assess what is now being done to address sustainability on their particular topic and to make recommendations on what should be done to foster sustainability on that topic. This synthesis also summarizes key legal and policy principles for sustainable development that the authors emphasized. This chapter tracks the major sections of this book – public health and the environment; community; public participation, public information, and access to justice; governance; and energy and climate change. It also proffers some overarching recommendations – again based on the chapters in this book – about laws and policies needed if shale gas is to accelerate the transition to sustainability. The chapter concludes that it is possible for shale gas to contribute to sustainability and help accelerate the transition to sustainability. But, from the evidence adduced in this book, the current legal and policy structure is not sufficient to do the job. If shale gas is to contribute to sustainability and help accelerate the transition, major changes in law and policy—changes recommended by the contributing authors—are needed.
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