Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel Idowu, René Schmidpeter, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Mara Del Baldo, Rute Abreu

Precautionary Principle

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02006-4_168-1



The Precautionary Principle is an environmental policy principle used in legislation, policy, and risk management. New technologies like climate engineering, genetically modified crops, nanotechnology, or artificial intelligence are often linked to risks, which are difficult to predict. The Precautionary Principle is applied in decision-making about uncertain but plausible threats to human health or the environment, e.g., as a consequence of using new technologies. In situations which lack scientific certainty, it can be challenging to find the right measures to protect human health or the environment from harm. Put simply, the Precautionary Principle states that lack of certainty shall not be a reason to refrain from taking action to tackle a threat. In other words, it says that in a situation of uncertainty, regulatory action might be a good option (even if scientific data are incomplete or controversial). The Precautionary Principle should be...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Communication and EnvironmentRhine-Waal University of Applied SciencesKamp-LintfortGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mirja Mikkilä
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Energy SystemsLappeenranta University of TechnologyLappeenrantaFinland