Environmental Governance and Sustainability
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Environmental Governance and Sustainability

Edited by Paul Martin, Li Zhiping, Qin Tianbao, Anel Du Plessis, Yves Le Bouthillier and Angela Williams

This timely volume provides fascinating insights into emerging developments in the field of legal governance of the environment at a time when environmental governance is increasingly concerned with far more than legal doctrine.
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Chapter 1: Instruments for Environmental Governance: What Works?

Michael G. Faure


Michael G. Faure 1.1 INTRODUCTION I would like to thank the Academy for the great honour of inviting me to speak at the colloquium to my distinguished colleagues and subsequently contributing to this volume. Apparently a keynote speaker is supposed to present two rather than one keynote speech. However, since I was also to present a paper on environmental criminal law in China with two Chinese colleagues, I was afraid that three times Faure would have been too much for the audience. If I were to give two lectures, I would probably have structured it as follows: first, I would have presented (on the basis of legal and economic scholarship) what theoretical assumptions exist about the functioning of various instruments intended to reduce environmental harm and to promote sustainable development. The second lecture would have considered the empirical evidence of the extent to which the theoretical assumptions, on which much of our environmental governance is based, do work in practice. Since the organisation agreed that I would only give one keynote presentation, I will integrate the two approaches and briefly look at what theory tells us about how environmental law should work and spend most of my time at looking at the empirical evidence. My contribution hence does not deal directly with doctrinal environmental law, but I give some insights into the empirical evidence about the effectiveness of environmental law. To a large extent, this evidence is not provided by lawyers. When making environmental law and choosing environmental instruments, environmental...

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