Science and Technology

Steinar Andresen and Jon Birger Skjærseth

in The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552153
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Science and Technology

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  • International Law
  • Environment and Energy Law



This article focuses on technology as a cure for environmental problems, based on how multilateral environmental agreements can contribute to solve or reduce international environmental problems. More specifically, it examines how science and technology can contribute to enhance the effectiveness of international environmental policies. Even though science and technology are closely intertwined, they are conceived for analytical and practical purposes as serving different functions at different levels and in different phases. Science represents the search for knowledge, and this search typically takes place among knowledge producers who function within an international regime. Technological innovation takes place mainly in a commercial context involving private companies, which also tend to be the target group of environmental policy. In international environmental cooperation, science offers advice on what to do, while technology determines the limitations and opportunities for how the problem may be tackled. Against the backdrop of regime effectiveness, science is assumed to be most important in agenda setting, while technological innovation is most important in implementation.

Keywords: science and technology; agenda setting; implementation; environmental problems; multilateral environmental agreements; knowledge; technological innovation; environmental policy; international environmental cooperation

Article.  9099 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law ; Environment and Energy Law

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