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Evaluating Espoo: What Protection does the Espoo Convention Offer the Arctic Marine Environment?

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AbstractThis article reviews the extent of the duty of States to conduct a transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA) prior to activity in the Arctic Ocean as part of the customary law principle of prevention. Examples are drawn from the offshore hydrocarbon industry. The paper examines in detail the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and its application in the High North, reviewing its utility as well as deficiencies in the comparative light of alternative frameworks, such as the voluntary guidelines of the Arctic Council, the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Nordic Environmental Protection Convention. The consequences of a TEIA report are discussed in light of customary international law.

Affiliations: 1: University of


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