The reasons for the Pact

Laurent Fabius, presenting the Pact on 24 June 2017

Over the last thirty years, the international community of jurists has called for the adoption of a global environmental pact. The Stockholm Declaration (1972) and the Rio Declaration (1992) recognize the major general principles of environmental law, which have been agreed on over time. But even though these declarations have a significant symbolic impact, they do not have legal force.

The Global Pact for the Environment is designed to become the cornerstone of international environmental law. It would strengthen the coherence of global environmental governance within a context of fragmented international institutions and a multiplicity of environmental norms both technical and sectoral.

The Pact supplements the legal framework of fundamental norms: Following the two international covenants of 1966 – one related to civil and political rights, the other related to economic, social and cultural rights – this new pact would establishes a third generation of fundamental rights, the rights related to environmental protection.

As a living document, the Pact is designed to trigger a legislative and jurisprudential dynamic in each State Party, inspiring the actions of national lawmakers and courts. It will contribute to the emergence of a global legal framework that is more protective of the environment.