Environmental Theory

Environmental theory and the law are intertwined disciplines that address the complex relationship between human activities and the natural world, aiming to safeguard the planet's health and sustainability.

People studying at a table

This field of study explores the philosophical, ethical, and legal frameworks that guide our understanding of environmental issues and the regulatory mechanisms designed to mitigate environmental harm. At its core, environmental theory seeks to unravel the intricate connections between humanity and the environment, delving into questions of ethics, sustainability, and the intrinsic value of nature. It contemplates the rights of ecosystems, animals, and the earth itself, promoting a holistic perspective that transcends anthropocentrism. Environmental law, on the other hand, is the practical manifestation of environmental theory. It encompasses a body of legal principles and regulations that govern human interactions with the environment, covering areas such as pollution control, resource management, land use planning, and wildlife protection. These laws provide a legal framework to ensure the conservation of ecosystems, the prevention of environmental harm, and the promotion of sustainable practices. Together, environmental theory and the law play a pivotal role in shaping policies, regulations, and practices that address critical global issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. They serve as essential tools in fostering a harmonious coexistence between humanity and the natural world, ensuring a healthier, more sustainable planet for future generations.

Project outputs

Burdon, P. D. (2023). The Anthropocene: New Trajectories in Law. Oxford, UK: Routledge.