Dalhousie Law Journal


Ozone layer, depletion, international law, acid rain, regulation, pollution, environmental degredation, global warming, industrialized nations


Although international customary and conventional law have addressed aspects of transfrontier pollution problems for decades,' the regional and global environmental degradations which have come to the forefront in the 1980s and 1990s - acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming, to name but three - represent new challenges to existing international law institutions and concepts. In a sense, the world has over the past two centuries gone through a period of what could be called "technological adolescence", as individuals and corporations, largely from industrialized nations, exploited the earth's resources with little if any concern for the immediate and long-term implications of their actions. In the face of evermounting and ominous evidence of the seriously ill health of the planet, there has been growing recognition that there are limits to what the earth can provide as well as responsibilities associated with the use of its resources. The as yet unanswered question is whether the structures and concepts of international law developed to this point are or will be adequate to contend with the serious threats to the world's environment which lie ahead.