Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law

Editors: Ginige, T., Green, I., Van Calster, P., Simons, A. and McMullen, J.

Publisher: Intersentia


Environmental law aims to provide regulatory mechanisms to protect the environment. This requires sufficient knowledge of the environmental effects of human activities; the functioning, services and carrying capacities of ecosystems; and the technical and societal options available to mitigate the adverse effects of human activity. It also aims to develop energy, food, urban and mobility systems to achieve environmental sustainability. However, major environmental threats prevalent in the 21st century, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and emerging pollutants, pose problems for scientists trying to tackle these issues, due to their complex causes, consequences and solutions required. As clearly shown by the European Green Deal strategies, these environmental threats can only be averted by transformative policies that embrace complexity in environmental and social terms, and by determining long-term transitional pathways. Never before were the makers and subjects of regulation so eminently dependent on scientific expertise and confronted with such uncertainties. The uptake of scientific knowledge and the management of uncertainties are thus among the current challenges in the formation, design and implementation of sustainable environmental laws.

Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law explores how environmental law is prepared or could be better equipped to employ the best available knowledge and expertise, and addresses the knowledge gaps and uncertainties in the legislative, administrative and judicial branches. Due to its multidisciplinary approach, this volume offers a fresh perspective, with each contribution providing a novel insight into the uncertainty of scientific understanding and making a valuable contribution to the field of environmental law. There is an urgent need for a variety of disciplines to come together to develop a common language to tackle the environmental issues besetting our world today, which this volume strives to meet.

Source: Manual