The project of the Global Pact for the Environment originates from one initiative of the international civil society. It was proposed in June 2017 by an international network of hundreds of the most prominent jurists (professors, judges, and lawyers) representing more than 40 countries from the north and south and coordinated by the Environment Commission of the Club des Juristes (a legal think tank). The network was formalized into the “International Group of experts for the Pact” (IGEP). The IGEP is headed by Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council and previous COP 21 President and is driven by his General Secretary, Yann Aguila, Lawyer at the Paris Bar and the President of the Environmental Commission of the Jurists’ Club. Which includes Antonio Herman Benjamin (Brazil), Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (Switzerland), David Boyd (Canada), Robert Carnwath (United-Kingdom), Geneviève Dufour (Canada), Parvez Hassan (Pakistan), Marie Jacobsson (Sweden), Donald Kaniaru (Kenya), Swatanter Kumar(India), Luc Lavrysen (Belgium), Makane Moïse Mbengue (Senegal), Pilar Moraga Sariego (Chili), Tianbao Qin (China), Nicholas A. Robinson (United-States), Jorge E. Vinuales (Argentina), Margaret Young (Australia).
The idea behind the Global Pact for the Environment is not new. For over thirty years, the international jurists community has been calling on the States to adopt a text codifying the general principles of the environment. Since 1987, the Brundtland report mentioning a list of “Legal principles for environmental protection and sustainable development”. On one hand, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) proposed in 1995 a project of a International Pact for the environment and sustainable development (see here the IUCN project).
In 2015, the adoption of such an international treaty also had the Environmental Commission of the Jurists’ Club propositions, in the report “Reinforce the efficiency of international environmental law – Rights of the individuals, duties of the States”. See here the full report. See the 10-page summary and the 2-page summary.
Other initiatives from civil society have gone the same way (see for example the CIDCE project). The network of international experts’ 2017 project is written to be expanded upon.