Chemical pollution (and the release of novel entities)

Paloniitty, Tiina, Nzegwu, Chukwukpee and French, Duncan (2021) Chemical pollution (and the release of novel entities). In: Research Handbook on Law, Governance and Planetary Boundaries. Research Handbooks in Environmental Law . Edward Elgar, p. 363. ISBN 978 1 78990 273 0

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The volume concludes with Chapter 20 that focuses on the boundary of ‘chemical pollution (and the release of novel entities)’. In this chapter, Tiina Paloniitty, Chukwukpee Nzegwu and Duncan French describe how the international legal, policy, and institutional framework on chemical pollution, while having evolved noticeably over time, has remained piecemeal, and arguably is still reflective of a lack of political will to tackle truly the seriousness of what is undoubtedly a global problem. As one component of this planetary boundary – the other element being the release of novel entities, which is not covered in this chapter – chemical pollution is a significant ecological and human health risk, exacerbated by its cumulative impact, toxicological build-up over time, and the geographical ease by which it spreads. Notwithstanding the lack of consensus yet on a planetary boundary threshold, the global challenge is acute. This chapter also considers the state of current international chemicals law, as well as the relevance of transnational attempts to control chemical pollution, most notably the European Union “REACH” (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation. Recognising the complexity of chemical pollution, the chapter proposes a move away from a single global regime, to embrace the plurality of regulatory responses, both international and regional, as effective means to tackle this particular challenge. Nevertheless, such regimes must recognise the innate inequity in the present global economic and political structure, and address the current lack of substantive solidarity towards, especially, the global South.

Keywords:chemicals, international environmental law, planetary boundaries, REACH
Subjects:M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:44734
Deposited On:30 Apr 2021 14:15

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