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  • The United Nations Law of the Sea Featured Article The United Nations Law of the Sea The United Nations Law of the Sea

    The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention treaty (which came into force in 1994) introduced a number of provisions, the most significant of which established definitions of... More »

  • Global Climate Change and the Law Featured Article Global Climate Change and the Law Global Climate Change and the Law

    Climate change, like Earth’s atmosphere, does not respect territorial borders. Greenhouse gas emissions from one sovereign state, although they affect the whole planet,... More »

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U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel Report Last Updated on 2012-07-24 00:00:00 U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel Report In 2011, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation initiated a major review of the U.S. Antarctic Program to examine U.S. logistical capabilities likely to be needed in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean during the next two decades and to seek ways to enhance logistical efficiency to support world-class science.  The Panel conducted an independent review of the current U.S. Antarctic Program to identify and characterize a range of options for supporting and implementing the required national scientific endeavors, international collaborations, and strong U.S. presence in Antarctica. Now, the 12-member Panel has released its report, More and Better Science in Antarctica through Increased Logistical Effectiveness. The report is a comprehensive document based on several months of research,... More »
Rio 2012 Conference, Limits to Sustainability Science Last Updated on 2012-07-05 00:00:00 Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit that led to the establishment of two major environmental conventions (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity), the author believes that Rio+20 (2012) presents an opportunity for the leaders of the world's governments to re-examine their commitments to—and ability to implement—sustainable development. This Editorial, authored by Georgina M. Mace*, appeared first in PLoS Biology—a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by the Public Library of Science. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. The Limits to Sustainability Science: Ecological Constraints... More »
The United Nations Law of the Sea Last Updated on 2010-12-19 00:00:00 The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention treaty (which came into force in 1994) introduced a number of provisions, the most significant of which established definitions of coastal boundary zones, navigation rights on the high seas, rights of islands (such as the Philippines and Indonesia), transit passage through straits (such as the Strait of Corfu), exclusive economic zones, continental shelf jurisdiction, regulations for deep seabed mining, regimes for exploitation of the seabed in international waters, protections for the marine environment, protocols for scientific research, rights of tax-free access to and from the sea for landlocked states, and procedures for settlement of disputes. [1] The treaty defines various coastal boundary zones, measured from a carefully defined territorial sea baseline. The Law of the Sea Convention also affirms that “States (political... More »
Global Climate Change and the Law Last Updated on 2010-11-29 00:00:00 Climate change, like Earth’s atmosphere, does not respect territorial borders. Greenhouse gas emissions from one sovereign state, although they affect the whole planet, may not be proportional to the severity of problems that the state itself experiences from climate change. For example, the world’s poorest states emit negligible amounts of greenhouse gases but are often the most vulnerable to changes in sea level, precipitation, major storms, heat waves, and spread of infectious diseases. Moreover, multinational corporations tend to locate operations that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases in sovereign states like China and India where the infrastructure is sufficient to support such operations, but where the environmental regulations are less restrictive than in developed states. Because private enterprise in a free market cannot adequately address the problem... More »