Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law
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Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law

Edited by Michael Faure

The Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law is a landmark reference work, providing definitive and comprehensive coverage of this dynamic field. The Encyclopedia is organised into 12 volumes around top-level subjects – such as water, energy and climate change – that reflect some of the most pressing issues facing us today. Each volume probes the key elements of law, the essential concepts, and the latest research through concise, structured entries written by international experts. Each entry includes an extensive bibliography as a starting point for further reading. The mix of authoritative commentary and insightful discussion will make this an essential tool for research and teaching, as well as a valuable resource for professionals and policymakers.
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Foreword to Volume V

It has often been stated that environmental pollution is probably one of the most prominent examples of a so-called transboundary externality whereby operators or states can transfer pollution costs onto other states and their citizens. Precisely to remedy those transboundary pollution issues a large number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) have been created on a wide variety of issues. For many environmental lawyers it has become an almost impossible task to grasp the details of the enormous range of MEAs that have been created in the past decades within the framework of a complex array of international organizations. Some of those agreements have a global character; others are of a regional nature. Some agreements deal with general environmental considerations –access to justice, for example – whereas others deal with specific pollutants or problems such as waste or marine pollution.

The editors and authors of this volume on multilateral environmental agreements have accomplished the daunting task of creating some order in what may seems the rather chaotic picture presented by this large variety of MEAs. Using a systematic approach, a large number of those MEAs are discussed in a detailed way in nine separate parts. Accordingly, attention is paid to global agreements, regional agreements and agreements dealing with specific issues. The result is a book that provides a systematic analysis of all of those conventions dealing with topics ranging from climate change to the protection of the marine environment in the Caribbean region. Through the systematic approach followed by the editors the reader immediately gains valuable insights into the wide variety of MEAs that have been created during the last decades. Moreover, the reader will be able to obtain detailed information on the goals, structure and contents of the most important MEAs.

Although many books address international environmental law at a higher level of abstraction, for example by discussing general principles or sources of state responsibility for transboundary harm, the current volume is unique in the sense that there has been no other volume that provides a systematic analysis of the MEAs. As General Editor I am very happy that this important topic has now been treated in this detailed manner by the editors and the authors. I am convinced that many environmental lawyers have been waiting for this volume and I know that it will be welcomed and read with great interest and appreciation.

I wholeheartedly congratulate the editors and authors for this remarkable achievement.

Michael Faure

General Editor

Encyclopedia of Environmental Law