EcoPerspectives Blog

Anti-Green-Washing-Soft-Policy: A Comparison of Transnational Eco-Labeling

By Gabriela Steier and Madhvvi Mehta What are Eco-Labels? Eco-labels are soft-policy examples of progressive environmental policy with a consumer-empowering component. In fact, eco-labels illustrate powerful tools of consumer-driven environmental protection and show that green-washing can be stopped through soft law approaches. ISO standards, for instance, provide “practical tools for companies and organizations of all… Read more »

Wyoming’s Data Trespass Laws Trample First Amendment Rights: A Preview

Summary: In 2015, the Wyoming Legislature passed two new laws creating criminal and civil causes of action for trespassing to collect resource data. Over the last year, the laws have undergone intense public scrutiny, culminating with several NGOs suing Wyoming to have the laws repealed on First Amendment grounds for restricting environment-based speech. __________________________________________ By… Read more »

Hope Remains with GMO Food Labeling Efforts

By Bonnie Smith On the evening of July 7—one week after Vermont celebrated its labeling law for genetically engineered (GE) foods going into effect—the U.S. Senate voted 63-30 to approve a federal GE food “labeling” bill. Today, the House of Representatives voted 306-117 to approve the bill. Unfortunately for Vermont and any other state that… Read more »


Summary: Food waste is  a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. By encouraging food donation and streamlining food-recovery policies the federal government can build a national framework to combat the massive accumulation of food waste and begin to change people’s food-waste habits. __________________________________________ By Bonnie Smith Every year Americans punt enough… Read more »

Climate Justice and International Migration Issues: An intersectional approach

Summary: With climate change looming in the background of all international affairs, issues involving economic justice are often not given appropriate consideration. Climate refugees are a reality and will increase in volume as the climatic changes continue to reshape our planet. The intersection of human rights and environmental law must be considered if international governmental… Read more »

SB44 – Next Steps After Paris

Summary: Parties to the UNFCCC gathered over the last two weeks for their mid-year meeting in Bonn, Germany to attempt to translate the recent treaties into substantive government policies.  At center stage, was the recent Paris Agreement and its future effects as the parties begin to merge its elements with the UNFCCC’s Kyoto protocol and other… Read more »

Women Dominate Leadership Positions for UN Climate Change Negotiations

Summary: Women have emerged as the most influential figures in the UN’s Convention on climate change. Female diplomats from Saudi Arabia and New Zealand have been elected to co-chair the fledgling APA, which develop guidelines pursuant to the recent Paris Agreement. __________________________________________ By Bonnie Smith For the first time ever, women dominate the most influential… Read more »

Stewardship as a Social Value

Summary: Conscious consumption is each individual’s responsibility. Understanding what we consume and how we facilitate the commoditization of life is a necessity if we are to promote the modification of social values to include holistic stewardship of our planetary resources. __________________________________________ By Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD All life has intrinsic value. Human life may be able… Read more »

Appalachia in Crisis: A Human Rights Approach to Environmental Justice in the U.S.

Summary: This post originally appeared in the Oxford Human Rights Blog on April 18, 2016. The systemic collapse of the U.S. coal extraction industry has scarcely been of benefit to the subordinated Appalachian citizenry. However, tangible socio-legal progress may be achieved in the Appalachian region vis-à-vis a critical human rights approach to environmental justice issues…. Read more »

Federal Fracking Waste Regulatory Commission, or Nah?

Summary: Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is not well-regulated in the United States, even though regulations exist at federal and state/local levels. This author recently published an article in which he argues the need for a federal commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to regulate fracking wastewater (link provided in the text below). The… Read more »