This comprehensive, multidisciplinary casebook analyzes all aspects of international environmental law and policy, including the major environmental treaty regimes, customary law principles and the development and evolution of soft law norms. It has been widely adopted in the field for over two decades. Written in a user-friendly fashion with problem exercises and a Teacher's Manual, it emphasizes the dynamic nature of the law-making process, including global environmental diplomacy and the critical role of non-state actors, including scientists, NGOs, and business. Getting to the heart of pressing environmental challenges, it explains not just the law but also the relevant politics, economics, and science.

This sixth edition of the book reflects major new developments such as the development of rules to implement the Paris Agreement, the evolution of the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty into an explicit climate treaty, the emergence of successful human-rights litigation to address climate change, the withdrawal of Japan from the Whaling Convention, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, and the increasing concern over plastic pollution, to name just a few.


Imprint: Foundation Press
Series: University Casebook Series
Publication Date: 12/29/2021

David Hunter, American University Washington College of Law

James Salzman, University of California-L.A. School of Law

Durwood Zaelke, American University Washington College of Law

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This sixth edition of the book reflects major new developments such as the development of rules to implement the Paris Agreement, the evolution of the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty into an explicit climate treaty, the emergence of successful human-rights litigation to address climate change, the withdrawal of Japan from the Whaling Convention, and the increasing concern over plastic pollution, to name just a few. To reflect these and other developments in the field as well as to incorporate comments from users of the book (both teachers and students), this sixth edition includes the following major changes:

  • Adds a section on the impact of the COVID pandemic;
  • Reflects the latest scientific conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2021 Sixth Assessment, Working Group 1: The Physical Science Basis;
  • Adds a section on climate justice;
  • Expands the environmental justice and human rights dimension of the treatment of hazardous chemicals;
  • Addresses the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as the most recent “strategic plan” for international environment and development organizations;
  • Reflects the reforms to UNEP, including creation of the UN Environment Assembly;
  • Adds a section on the Kigali Amendment to phase out HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and the evolution of the Protocol into an explicit climate protection treaty;
  • Provides new expanded sections on the implications of climate change in the chapters on ozone depletion, forests, international trade, human rights, investment, and the role of the private sector; and
  • Expands the chapter on human rights and environment to reflect the increase in litigation at the intersection of these two fields.

Learn more about this series.