Two declarations are the foundation of modern international environmental law and policy: the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment and the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development. Both of these declarations include well-established principles of international environmental law and policy such as state responsibility, territorial sovereignty, the necessity of ecosystem protection, and the importance of international cooperation. In addition, they both embrace revolutionary ideas. For example, the Stockholm Declaration held out the possibility of a human right to a healthy environment and suggested the need to integrate economic development and social development with environmental protection, which is the seed from which the concept of sustainable development grew. The Rio Declaration fully endorsed that concept and included in it the principle of equitable rights of present and future generations, the necessity of a precautionary approach to environmental protection, an equitable polluter pays approach through the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility,” and the necessity of eliminating unsustainable patterns of consumption if sustainable development is to be achieved.
Recommended CitationPhillip M. Kannan, The Declaration of Interdependence: A New Declaration to Overthrow the Tyranny of Small Decisions and Achieve Sustainability, 32 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 547 (2015)
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