Environmental justice is a notion, which was coined in the U.S. in an attempt to protect the environments of minorities whose neighbourhoods had been used to store hazardous waste. Similar attempts have been made to evolve this concept on a global scale to protect the environments of periphery nations around the globe, whose environments have become dumpsites for the consequences of industrialization in the Western world. For example, industrial waste from the U.K. has been found in Guinea, U.S. industrial waste has been found in Zimbabwe, Italian industrial waste has been found in Nigeria, as it is more cost effective to store hazardous industrial waste in Third World countries, than in Western-industrialized countries, due to more stringent environmental policies in the developed countries. Likewise, there are numerous other Third World countries, which currently harbour industrial waste originating in the Western world. Harnessing insights from third world approaches to international law (TWAIL), one notices that the 1989 Basel Convention like other regimes of International law has proven to be unfruitful in protecting the environments of Third World peoples. Nonetheless, as disturbing as the practice of private entities concluding agreements with private persons or corrupt government officials in Third World countries, to harbour industrial waste may seem; this makes a mockery of international arbitral tribunals’ disregard for sovereign attempts at national environmental governance to secure the economic interest of foreign investors as the World Bank’s ICSID did in relation to Mexico in the Tecmed Case. However, this is might come as no surprise to those who recall the World Bank Memorandum, where Lawrence Summers, then chief economist, openly endorsed the dumping of hazardous waste in developing countries. Therefore as opposed to investment protection in many Third World countries, it does not seem that the protection of the environment in Third World countries are on the list of the priorities of this institution.
- International Law,
- International Economic Governance,
- International Environmental Governance,
- International Investment Arbitration,
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