Publications (Journal article)

The Sustainable Development Goals and International Environmental Law: Normative Value and Challenges for Implementation

This article explores the implications for international environmental law of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which occurred at the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. Following a summary of the main outcomes of the Summit, the paper evaluates the process and vision of the SDGs against both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the past efforts of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in the field of sustainable development. The paper then examines how the environmental dimension of the SDGs is integrated into the general framework of the post-2015 development agenda and addresses two important questions which will most likely prove instrumental in the achievement of the Goals themselves. First, it the light of UN General Assembly Resolution 70/1, it discusses the normative value of the environmental obligations of States enshrined in the SDGs. Secondly, it deals with problems of implementation of the outcomes of the Summit, and accordingly attempts to identify the main legal challenges for the operationalization of the environmental component of the SDGs, in the wider context of the Agenda and taking the recent developments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) into account.