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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the first part of this book, which sets out from the hypothesis that the protection of the fragile equilibrium between the atmosphere, the waters, the soils, the ecosystems and the needs of humans to live in a peaceful, just and secure world, today and in the future, is channeled into law by the principle of sustainable development. To support this claim, the part undertakes three tasks. First, it investigates the evolution and content of sustainable development as a concept guiding State action. In the second step, the assessment of the concepts reflection in the international climate change regime and the regime governing multilateral trade helps to develop a more concrete understanding of sustainable development in these particular contexts. Third, the legal nature of sustainable development, in particular the question whether it could be classified as a general principle of law, is assessed.

Keywords: international climate change; international law; multilateral trade; sustainable development



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