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The sources of environmental law are multiple and complex. They are international, regional, transnational, national and local. They are legislative, regulatory, judicial, customary, and scholarly. They are voluntary and mandatory; and even when mandatory, they frequently involve novel strategies for obtaining compliance. And they engage practitioners, students and scholars with both the most challenging scientific problems and the most basic needs of survival. This text - which is simultaneously a treatise on international environmental law, a comparative study of American and European approaches to environmental legal issues, and a deliberate integration of the various ""branches"" of environmental law into a new synthesis more suited to current and emerging realities - represents a co-operative achievement of two groups, American and German, of outstanding scholars. This dual provenance reveals a contrast of reason and principle, authority and text, that opens the way to new and deeper legal responses to the exigencies of environmental concerns.;In addition to in-depth descriptions of all the problems that beset our planet's air, soil, water, wildlife, polar regions, and atmosphere - and the protection of these environmental elements under international, regional, and national legal instruments - this book thoroughly examines the complex issues that lie at the heart of environmental law practice: liability, enforcement, compliance, due diligence, procedural obligations, performance standards, criminal sanctions, ""debt-for-nature swaps"", economic incentives and disincentives, reparation, dispute settlement, the powerful presence of the international trade regime, and many others. Some of the book's most revealing insights are to be found in its comparison of the authority and effectiveness of different approaches to common problems, such as the environmental laws and policies of Germany and the United States, and those contained in the European Union's environmental regime and the environmental side agreements to NAFTA. There is no other resource that combines the scope, currency, and comparative law value of this extraordinary work.