Environmental Rule of Law: First Global Report

24 January 2019

NAIROBI— 24 January 2019 – The first ever global assessment of environmental rule of law finds weak enforcement to be a global trend that is exacerbating environmental threats, despite prolific growth in environmental laws and agencies worldwide over the last four decades.

The UN Environment report found that despite a 38-fold increase in environmental laws put in place since 1972, failure to fully implement and enforce these laws is one of the greatest challenges to mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and preventing widespread species and habitat loss.  While there are still gaps in many of the laws, the substantial growth of environmental laws has been dramatic.

David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment said, "This compelling new report solves the mystery of why problems such as pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change persist despite the proliferation of environmental laws in recent decades. Unless the environmental rule of law is strengthened, even seemingly rigorous rules are destined to fail and the fundamental human right to a healthy environment will go unfulfilled."

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