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Built in to every multilateral environmental agreement is a dilemma: how to incorporate justice and fairness on the one hand and effectiveness on the other. Our immense difficulty in meeting this two-edged imperative highlights the fact that we are, at best, at an early stage in the development of international environmental ethics, and that no coherent and effective ethical system yet exists in this context. This remarkable book starts from a conviction that the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) offers the best way forward toward the much-desired goal of sustainable development.
Presenting a full-scale, multidisciplinary assessment of the feasibility of the principle of CBDR in multilateral environmental agreements, encompassing legal and policy status perspectives as well as historical developments and future prospects, this study identifies issues and aspects in the theoretical and practical application of the CBDR principle. The author responds with in-depth knowledge and awareness to such specific questions as the following:
The study will be of immeasurable value in promoting understanding of how CBDR actually works. It will help lawyers and policymakers perceive how different parties want to use the principle, and to discern clearly what options could be chosen by the parties, which aspects are crucial, and what factors influence the effectiveness of the arrangements.