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Environmental Laws and Treaties

This article was approved by Jim Adler

With technology moving forward at a steady pace, telecommunication often makes it seem like the size of the Earth is shrinking. This global society means that each country has a greater responsibility to do its part to protect and preserve the environment. Within an individual nation, a country might make environmental laws that govern the actions of the citizens of that country. Globally, countries might enter into environmental treaties that seek to monitor activities and minimize harm to the environment.

United States Environmental Laws

The United States has passed a number of laws that help protect the environment. For example, the Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1970, established a set of standards regarding air quality in general. The federal government has reviewed this law repeatedly, passing amendments to the act that make it more stringent. The Clean Water Act sets standards for keeping water clean and free of pollutants.

International Treaties

Nations around the world have entered into global treaties designed to protect the environment. For example, the Kyoto Protocol was designed to control greenhouse gas emissions of developed countries. The Montreal Protocol involved more than 150 different countries, and it was instituted to minimize the production of substances that damage the ozone layer. Countries engage in significant negotiations to reach agreements, but unfortunately, often, follow-through after ratification is inconsistent.

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