Conflicting Goals and Mixed Rationales: A Closer Look at the Objectives of EU Environmental Law in Light of the Anthropocene
E Alblas, ‘Conflicting Goals and Mixed Rationales: A Closer Look at the Objectives of EU Environmental Law in Light of the Anthropocene’ (Spring 2018) Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law, Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 1, 2018
Environmental policymaking has conventionally aimed at preserving the integrity of the environment. To protect ourselves from the consequences of (man-caused) environmental degradation and climatic change, however, intentional manipulation of the environment through means of technology appears more and more necessary. In this context, this research introduces the core objectives of EU environmental law – 'preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment' and 'protecting human health' – as increasingly conflictive. Taking an environmental ethics perspective, this research explains that both the letter of the law as well as the case law of the Court provide a mixed picture of environmental rationales captured in these two objectives. In the absence of clear legal and ethical direction, it becomes all the more necessary to closely re-examine what goals ought to be pursued through EU environmental law in the Anthropocene.
Keywords: Environmental law; Environmental ethics; European law; Anthropocene
JEL Classification: K32; Q54; O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation