Summary: Sustainability & Law

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  • 1 Lecture 1: Basic Concepts

  • 1.1 Basics and Empirico-legal Context

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  • What is the difference between a physical or socio cultural environment?

    The physical environment is the earth biosphere (might be) versus space. And in the earth biosphere the socio cultural environment could be the distinction between the biotic beings and the a-biotic things. Or the humans versus animals, or an environment imagined based on cultural, spiritual or human values.
  • What happens in time if there is an environmental problem?

    First effects, acknowledgement, policy formulation, policy implementation, solution
  • What is the problem of not including women in the process of making a policy?

    Gender inequality in the policy results in failure policies, because not all users are heard.
  • What is the 'Energy trilemma'?

    Secure/Reliable energy, affordable/accessible energy, and sustainable (trias energetica)
  • What is trias energetica?


    1. Reduce energy use
    2. Optimize use of renewable resources (bio, wind, solar)
    3. Optimize efficiency of use of non-renewable resources (cars, trucks)
  • 1.2 Normative Context

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  • What is internal to EL?

    1. Pollution
    2. Exhaustion
    3. Nuisance.
  • What is external to EL?



    Spatial: Urban planning, nature conservation, water management
    Socio-economic: Energy, Traffic, Infrastructures, Labour, Social security.
  • What are the 6 general environmental principles?

    1. Sustainability
    2. prevention
    3. polluter pays
    4. precautionary principle (to do something without very much understanding of consequences of something new, but on feeling it coming beforehand and do some costly measures.
    5. source-aimed
    6. alara (as low as reasonable achievable), BAT (best available technique), NEEC (Not entailing excessive costs), BPM: Best practice means.
  • 1.3 Precautionary approach or principle

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  • What is said about the precautionary approach in the Rio declaration (1992) by D.J. Vogel?


    Threats of serious or irreversible damage?
    If lack of full scientific certainty, you may not stop cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
  • What is meant by the flipflop in 1990?

    Until 1990, RR and USA sooner & stricter and became less strict, while EU was before less strict, and became more comprehensive after.

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