The Pact’s objective is to fill the gaps in international environmental law and to contribute to the emergence of a global legal framework, one that is more protective of natural resources. As a matter of fact, if the 1972 Stockholm Declaration and the 1992 Rio Declaration recognize the general principles of environmental rights that today have consensus, these texts have strong political influence and symbolism but lack legal force.
The Pact for the most part, will be a multilateral treaty, equipped by legal force, dedicated to the principles that guide environmental action. With the momentum created by the adoption of the 2030 UN Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, the Pact would go beyond the sectorial differences, by not targeting a particular sector (the Paris Climate Agreement, biodiversity, pollution etc.), the Pact applies to environmental politics as a whole.
Having the vocation to become the cornerstone of international environmental law, is at the same time distinct and complementary to sectorial conventions. Having a universal program, that is susceptible to be applicable to all States, without geographic restrictions. Also, if adopted, the Pact will be the first international treaty on the environment as a whole.
The Pact recognizes a third wave of fundamental rights, rights related to the protection of the environment. It will complete the legal edifice of fundamental norms, that will incorporate the two international 1966 Pacts – one relative to political and civil rights, the other to economic, social, and cultural rights.
While consolidating and harmonizing the global scale of environmental rights, the Pact will result in a reinforced dynamic within the legal framework. In each State party, the legislator will implement principles of the Pact, adopt new laws protecting the environment. The Supreme Courts will have a source of inspiration for their jurisprudence, within the Pact principles.