Enviromental Law

Morgera, Elisa (2017) Enviromental Law. In: European Union Law. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 657-685. ISBN 9780198789130

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Abstract

Environmental protection is as an essential component of any policy aimed at improving human well-being: clean air and water, healthy lands and seas are essential to human life and health, adequate nutrition, and cultural and recreational activities. Environmental protection may also contribute to ensuring the long-term maintenance of economic activities that are based on the use of natural resources (the agricultural, fishing, and logging industry) or depend on well-preserved natural features (the tourism industry). While traditionally environmental regulation tended to protect the environment from degradation arising from economic activities, more recently it has attempted to protect the environment and encourage economic growth at the same time. Thus, one of the key themes that will be explored in this chapter is how and to what extent EU environmental law has attempted to reconcile these apparently conflicting objectives, either by trying to strike a balance between competing environmental and economic objectives or by integrating environmental and economic objectives through market-based mechanisms and other innovative regulatory approaches. As environmental protection is a dynamic and ever-expanding area of international law, the other key theme explored in this chapter is the influence of international environmental law over EU environmental law, and attempts by the EU to influence the further development of international environmental law.