Regional Integration and the Environment: The Evolution of Legal Regimes

18 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2012

See all articles by Frederick M. Abbott

Frederick M. Abbott

Florida State University - College of Law

Date Written: 1992


This Essay considers one aspect of the regional integration phenomenon, examining it in the specific context of its present and potential impact on regimes for the protection of the environment. This Essay will consider whether the European Community model for protection of the environment may constitute a prototype for other regional arrangements and a building bloc for the global trading system as a whole. The proposal for an environmental regime within the draft North American Free Trade Agreement is considered in comparison to the Community model. Differences in the level of political commitment to the goal of environmental protection within the two regions will emerge as the fundamental determinant of the ultimately disparate character of their legal regimes with respect to the environment. The comparison nevertheless offers a few suggestions with respect to the regime under consideration for the NAFTA. In the final analysis this Essay suggests that a regional approach to trade-related environmental issues is a positive development from a global welfare perspective.

Keywords: regional integration, European Union, NAFTA, environmental protection, trade

JEL Classification: F15, K32, K33, L52, O51, O52

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Frederick M., Regional Integration and the Environment: The Evolution of Legal Regimes (1992). Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 68, pp. 173-201, 1992, Available at SSRN:

Frederick M. Abbott (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-644-1572 (Phone)
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