Environmental decision-making in a transboundary context: principles and challenges for the Denmark-Sweden Øresund fixed link
It is now possible to identify projects or activities in many countries whose policy objectives of promoting “sustainable development” have been achieved. The philosophy underlying the “sustainable development” concept captures misgivings about the nature of development and about social and technological ability to avoid further deterioration of the environment. Although many of the advances in environmental law and theory have occurred in international forums, implementation of sustainable development principles is less evident at the international than at the local level. The is due, in large part, to the difficulties created by multiple jurisdictions and the increased complexity of regional or global environmental problems. This paper considers the challenges and opportunities that exist for improving the implementation of the precautionary principle as a sustainability objective at the international level. It concentrates upon approval processes for development projects with potential crossborder environmental effects. A case study is provided of the decision making process for the Øresund Fixed Link between Denmark and Sweden.