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Columbia Law School

1994

International Law

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Panel Iii: International Law, Global Environmentalism, And The Future Of American Environmental Policy, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1994

Panel Iii: International Law, Global Environmentalism, And The Future Of American Environmental Policy, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

From an American perspective, environmental law has undergone two bouts of centralization in the past three decades. Round one occurred in the 1970's, as Congress federalized vast areas of environmental law that had previously been the province of state and local governments. Round two, which is still in an incipient phase, represents the effort to internationalize environmental law.

The question I would like to address is what can we learn from round one about what is likely to happen in round two. My answer, in a nutshell, is that the primary driving force behind the federalization of environmental law ...