Unsustainable Global Consumption and International Law: Tackling Demand-Driven Environmental Harm

"This dissertation analyses the topic of consumption from an international law perspective, taking as its starting point the problem of demand-driven environmental harm caused by unsustainable consumption levels of agro-commodities such as soy, palm oil, beef, and wood products. The expanding production of these commodities is responsible for continuing accelerating tropical deforestation, causing significant harm to the “common concerns of mankind”, namely biodiversity loss and climate change. I argue that international law insufficiently addresses the problem of unsustainable consumption and that international law may in fact be contributing to the problem of unsustainable consumption by perpetuating ecologically harmful economic development trajectories. Moreover, international environmental law has a “blind spot” specifically with regards to unsustainable agricultural activities as a threat to the environment. Exploring the topic of unsustainable consumption under international law reveals the extent to which neoliberal ideology has suffused international environmental and international economic law, obscuring the contradiction of unending growth of the materials economy within the limits of a finite planet already on the brink of its ecological carrying capacity.


PhD Director(s):
Jorge Enrique Viñuales
Notes:
Jury member(s): Andrea Bianchi



 Record created 2017-05-11, last modified 2018-01-29


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