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Overview of Environmental Law

What are the strengths and weaknesses of environmental law? How could the environmental law be improved? 

International Environmental law is a set of rules and legislation which is applicable to all the countries which comes under the treaty. It covers the areas related to environment such as climate change, population, global warming and so on. Focussing on environmental factors such as pollution, water management and the destruction of natural resources within a framework of sustainable development and governing the problems. Further it has some strengths and weaknesses which are mentioned in this discussion.

Environmental laws has been described in the context of Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The act provides an effective legal framework to protect and regulate the Australia’s land and marine biodiversity, ecosystem, environment and heritage. These are the standards set predefined for the conservation of environment and natural resources. Similar to every other law, this law also contains some positive as well as negative aspects. Although this a well prepared law yet it has some limitation which international government need to resolve after consultation from other member countries .There are certain challenges been faced due to the mismanagement of the activities such as water pollution, soil degradation, and loss of biodiversity, ozone depletion, and population pressure. Such issues highlight the need for devising a system for improving the situation. Some of the strengths of the law are as under.

Health and Safety being the strength of the environmental law emphasizes towards maintaining the health and safety of the humans as well as the environment and for this several acts also has been formulated such as the ‘Clean Air Act’ which limits the emission of pollutants, Sanctuaries Act prohibiting the dumping of waste. Without these laws businesses would be thinking of their cost effective benefits only.

Innovation by environmental law guides the business organisations to be cost effective by following these rules, they ultimately save their money by reducing waste in the long run. Enactment of other laws, environmental law also led to the implementation of other acts also such as clean air act ensuring the quality of air we breathe. Regulations like the carbon tax can protect the environment by limiting greenhouse gases. The law focusses on the protection of the environment’s cleanliness, securing the life of plants, animals and other species. Increment in biodiversity and habitat protection of a number of species is also a benefit. Along with the strengths from the implementation of environment law also, there are some of the drawbacks of the law. 


Environmental law implemented without concerning the social community often faces lack of social support by the people. Another weakness can be the delay in administration of such laws improper execution. The regulation of the international environmental law is that it puts pressure or and is disadvantageous to both the companies as well as tax payers. In corporate organisations, it is mandatory to follow law by making changes in production methods, otherwise penalties could be charged which is another disadvantage. Environmental regulations often leads to decrease in inefficiencies as it is not always possible to produce goods in eco-friendly way. Dependency on the renewable resources would be not beneficial as it is expensive and risky. Moreover, small business will face financial burden aiming to earn profits and additional environment regulation would reduce this cash enticement even more.

Despite the strengths and weaknesses observed through the implementation of the environmental law, its effectiveness can be further improved by the availability of resources. Role of governance is one another way to improve the implications of the law, constituting a separate authority concerning the environment regulations. The development of the green technology is one of the strict measure taken to the enforcement of environment law as it regulates the activities use of environment friendly products, recycling and reusing.

To conclude from the above analysis of the environmental law, it can be stated as the environment law consists of the act conserving the biodiversity and the marine life, leading to the protection of natural resources is an Australian’s environment law ensuring the environment’s protection by identifying the strengths and weaknesses. After assessing the impact of the weaknesses of the law there are certain measures or technologies adopted to improve the application and benefits of the environmental law 

Articles/books/journals

Werksman, J., Cameron, J., and Roderick, P. Improving Compliance with International Environmental Law (Earthscan, 2014).

Zhiyong, X., ‘Research on Green Technology Innovation Model and System Improvement based on Environmental Protection’ (2017) 94 IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science.

Websites

Department of the Environment and Energy, Improved Compliance and enforcement activities under national environmental law (2014) <https://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/factsheet-improved-compliance-enforcement-national-environmental-law>

IUCN, Improving Effectiveness of Environmental Law: A meeting of experts (2015) <https://www.iucn.org/content/improving-effectiveness-environmental-law-meeting-experts>

SFGATE, Advantages and disadvantages of Instituting Environmental Laws (2018) <https://homeguides.sfgate.com/advantages-disadvantages-instituting-environmental-laws-78903.html>

USLegal, Clean Air Act (2018) < https://environmentallaw.uslegal.com/federal-laws/clean-air-act

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