Environmental and Energy Law by Karen E Makuch, Dr. Ricardo Pereira

By Karen E Makuch, Dr. Ricardo Pereira

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Below will briefly discuss the evolution of ‘sustainable development law’44 which is arguably emerging as a distinct area of regulation (further discussed in Chapter 2). This complements the focus increasingly being taken by engineers and engineering organisations in developing sustainable development agendas in engineering. In terms of policy advances, sustainable development law links environmental law, human rights law, economic law and other areas of regulation, particularly at the international level, in order to address related issues such as poverty reduction, flooding, drought, access to clean, potable water, climate change adaptation and mitigation and other global and local concerns.

However, precautionary measures must be based on more than a mere hypothesis or purely theoretical assessments. 10 7 Decisions on implementing parts of EU legislation are often taken by the European Commission officials assisted by national experts, who give their opinion on proposed measures. They meet in hundreds of specialised committees under a procedure referred to as ‘comitology’. There are around 300 committees dealing with all kinds of legislation. Examples of decisions taken by this procedure include the authorisation of chemical products or the imposition of production quotas for milk and other agricultural sectors.

It has also exempted them from paying road tax. Electric vehicles are a risky, expensive investment compared to the more reliable internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, but with these incentives an EV could prove to be cheaper over many years than an ICE vehicle, and if the electricity used to power it is clean, it could be a viable technology that mitigates climate change. 4 The interplay between law and science – the way forward The way in which government policy interacts with new scientific discoveries may be regarded as confusing by wider society, and thus there is need for better communication between scientists and regulators.

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