Environmental Policies — Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is a term that has come to pervade environmental policy discussion. However, its meaning and value are hotly contested. At one end of the spectrum sustainable development is regarded as an empty platitude intended to provide a formula acceptable to most ethical and political points of view. At the other extreme sustainable development is regarded as a useful policy guide although no one believes that the concept is capable of being directly applied in law. In this chapter we shall discuss possible meanings of sustainable development, attempt to relate the concept to the law, and draw attention to some of its main criticisms. Sustainable development is closely related to the precautionary principle that is discussed in Chapter 6. It is a strongly anthropocentric concept.
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