Chapter 3: Ship recycling through the lenses of environmental principles and justice
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This chapter conceives shipbreaking as a global environmental challenge, whose regulation should be guided by environmental principles deriving from international environmental law and binding on the EU. The chapter first presents key controversies of ship dismantling from the perspective of environmental justice, a concept related to environmental principles, but also exhibiting its own intricacies. This discussion demonstrates the power imbalances in the North-South state relationships involved in shipbreaking, which can give rise to ‘toxic waste colonialism’. Second, the chapter analyses the processes and interactions between involved actors and their respective responsibilities through the lens of the no-harm/preventive principle, sustainable development, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (and respective capabilities), the polluter pays principle, and the source/proximity principle. Environmental principles provide the lens through which to assess both the level of fragmentation of the regulatory landscape relating to shipbreaking and the level of its environmental sustainability.