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Preface

International Economic Law Perspectives

Edited by Celine Tan and Julio Faundez

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Preface

Carbon Taxes, Energy Subsidies and Smart Instrument Mixes

Edited by Stefan E. Weishaar, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne, Hope Ashiabor and Michael Mehling

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Introduction

International Economic Law Perspectives

Celine Tan and Julio Faundez

The current economic and ecological climate calls for a reappraisal of the international legal and political framework governing natural resources, defined broadly to include materials and organisms naturally occurring in the environment, such as water, mineral and fossil fuels, and cultivated resources, such as food crops, both renewable and exhaustible. This reappraisal is urgent because the governance and management of natural resources have formed a pivotal backdrop to the evolution of international economic law in the post-war period and have been critical components of the process of economic globalization. Contributors to this collection explore the different dimensions of natural resource governance in the contemporary economic, political and legal landscape. They reflect upon and address the different aspects of the conflicts and contradictions arising at the intersection between international economic law, sustainable development and other areas of international law, notably human rights law and environmental law.

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Editorial review board

Carbon Taxes, Energy Subsidies and Smart Instrument Mixes

Edited by Stefan E. Weishaar, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne, Hope Ashiabor and Michael Mehling

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Carbon tax choices: the tale of four states

Carbon Taxes, Energy Subsidies and Smart Instrument Mixes

Janet E. Milne

While carbon tax measures have not yet met with success at the federal level in the United States, proposals for carbon taxes emerged in a handful of states in 2015 and 2016. The proposals address the shared challenge of climate change, but each has its own unique features and setting. Drawing on proposals in Oregon, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington as case studies, this chapter explores how state constitutions can affect the design of state-level carbon taxes and their legislative route toward enactment. For example, the Oregon constitution imposes limits on tax rates and use of the revenue when taxing certain fossil fuels. The constitutions in three of the four states require that some types of revenue measures must originate in the legislative House of Representatives, not the Senate, raising the question whether carbon taxes can be designed in a manner that will avoid this procedural constraint. In Washington, the carbon tax proposal came forward as a ballot initiative that went to voters in the general election, following a procedure permitted under the state constitution. These case studies serve as an important reminder of how constitutional provisions that were not created with climate change in mind can influence the design features of subnational carbon taxes and political strategies.

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Klaus Bosselmann and Prue Taylor

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Bridget M. Hutter

This chapter outlines some of the most prominent environmental issues we face, including changes in our understandings of environmental risks, uncertainties and damage and the inequalities attaching to them. It discusses strategies for managing these risks, focusing in particular on risk and resilience perspectives and the ways in which they relate to environmental law. The chapter introduces the organisation of the book around major themes such as variable perspectives on risk regulation; the compatibility of law with notions of risk and resilience; transnational efforts to manage environmental risks; and the difficulties associated with managing inequalities within and between countries. It concludes with an introduction to some of the emerging governance issues generated by these debates.

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Edited by Bridget M. Hutter

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Bulk fresh water resources and the GATT

Bulk Fresh Water, Irrigation Subsidies and Virtual Water

Fitzgerald Temmerman

In the near future, climate change and global warming could trigger international trade in (bulk) fresh water on a far larger scale then is presently already the case. In this context, the question whether bulk fresh water is to be considered as a ‘good’ or a ‘product’, falling under the ambit of the GATT, is highly controversial. In fact, no decisive legal arguments against such an inclusion currently exist. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, legal scholars advocate formally excluding bulk fresh water from falling under the ambit of the GATT. Could such a scenario, if not utopian, effectively hinder international trade in bulk fresh water from developing, once the need is there? Excluding bulk fresh water from the ambit of the GATT is perhaps not to be considered as particularly compelling, since the WTO framework potentially offers sufficient leeway to effectively take into account non-trade concerns, such as environmental rights and the right to water. KEYWORDS: Climate change – global warming – water – trade – WTO – GATT

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Table of constitutions, legislation, and regulations

Sustainable, Just, and Democratic

Edited by Melissa K. Scanlan