Transboundary air pollution and international law

Alan Boyle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


International law offers two paradigms for addressing transboundary air pollution: the Trail Smelter arbitration case of 1941 and the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution of 1979 (LRTAP). The first of these paradigms is concerned with an identifiable source of transboundary pollution that could be addressed within the framework of bilateral relations. The second paradigm locates transboundary air pollution within a broader regional context and addresses it through the mechanism of evolutionary regimes of multilateral regulation exemplified by LRTAP. The benefits can be observed in the increasingly complex and largely successful structure of protocols built onto the LRTAP framework convention, dealing with a range of widely dispersed air pollutants. The point that is most relevant in Asia is the absence of any comparable regional regime on this continent, despite the growing and obvious problem of transboundary air pollution on a regional scale, caused in particular by Chinese and Indian emissions and the continued growth in fossil fuel consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransboundary Pollution
Subtitle of host publicationEvolving Issues of International Law and Policy
EditorsS Jayakumar, Tommy Koh, Robert Beckman, Hao Duy Phan
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 78471 579 3
ISBN (Print)978 1 78471 578 6
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2015

Publication series

NameNUS Centre for International Law series

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