The Anthropocene’s Global Environmental Constitutional Moment

Kotze, Louis (2014) The Anthropocene’s Global Environmental Constitutional Moment. Yearbook of International Environmental Law, 25 (1). pp. 24-60. ISSN 0965-1721

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The Anthropocene’s Global Environmental Constitutional Moment
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It has been informally suggested that we have entered a new geological epoch called the ‘Anthropocene’. With its formal acceptance pending, acting as a cognitive framework for understanding and describing global environmental change, the Anthropocene provides an opportunity for us to re-imagine our global socio-juridical institutions that must better respond to the exigencies of this possible new epoch. In this article I describe what type of global constitutional reforms could emerge from the Anthropocene’s constitutional moment, when considered through the environmental constitutionalism lens. The article commences with a discussion that traces the minimal definitional content of the anthropocentrism-dominant narrative underlying the Anthropocene discourse. As it does so, a case is made out in support of reforms of our social-institutional arrangements in the regulatory domain. The article then provides a conceptual analysis of environmental constitutionalism, including a discussion of the thin (or formal-descriptive) and thick (higher order, substantively constitutional) characteristics of environmental constitutionalism. The discussion then focuses on the theory of constitutional moments in general terms, while the final part concludes the analysis with suggestions on what the constitutional moment of the Anthropocene could look like in terms of the thick and thin metaphor of environmental constitutionalism.

Keywords:environmental constitutionalism, constitutional moment, environmental rights, global environmental governance
Subjects:M Law > M100 Law by area
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:39932
Deposited On:24 Jan 2020 09:11

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