The Precautionary Principle in the 20th Century - late lessons from early warnings
Edited by Paul Harremoes, David Gee, Malcom MacGarvin, Andy Stirling, Jane Keys, Brian Wynne and Sofia Guedes Vaz
From the European Environment Agency, part of the Risk, Society and Policy Series
Hardback 280 pp ISBN 9781853838927
The "precautionary principle" is widely seen as fundamental to successful policies for sustainability. It has been
cited in international courts and trade disputes between the USA and the EU, and invoked in a growing range
of political debates. Understanding what it can and cannot achieve is therefore crucial. This volume looks back
over the last century to examine the role the "principle" played or could have played, in a range of major and
avoidable public disasters. From detailed investigation of how each disaster unfolded, what the impacts
were and what measures were adopted, the authors draw lessons and establish criteria that could help to
minimise the health and environmental risks of future technological, economic and policy innovations.
This is an informative resource for all those from lawyers and policy-makers, to researchers and students needing
to understand or apply the "principle".
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