From Stockholm to Paris: Four Decades of Sustainability in International Law

  • Terence Onang EguteEmail author
  • Eike Albrecht
  • Kelvin Awanaya Egute
Part of the Natural Resource Management in Transition book series (NRMT, volume 2)


This chapter aims to provide an overview of the evolution and incorporation of sustainability in international law from the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, considering the role this field of law plays regarding the delicate balance between environmental protection and socio-economic development. The World Commission on Environment and Development published “Our Common Future” also known as the “Brundtland Report” in 1987, in which it defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987, p. 41). When we examine the evolution of sustainable development from 1972 to 2002 when the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development took place, it can be described as a developmental process by which resources are deployed to meet the needs of people while ensuring preservation of the environmental quality and socio-economic growth, with an ultimate objective of meeting the needs of the present and future generations. With emphasis on intra and inter-generational equity, sustainable development is advanced as a response to the achievement of a more equitable balance between social, environmental and economic development (Cordonier Segger and Khalfan 2004; Zengerling 2013).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Onang Egute
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eike Albrecht
    • 1
  • Kelvin Awanaya Egute
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public Law, with Focus on Environmental and Planning Law, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU)CottbusGermany
  2. 2.Abie, Egute & Associates Law FirmBamendaCameroon

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