Precautionary principle

Aarti Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The precautionary principle is often touted as one of the most important principles of global environmental governance. One of the most well-known articulations of the precautionary principle is that contained in the Rio Declaration adopted during the 1992 Earth Summit. The principle has continued to generate controversy in both scholarly and policy debates over the last decades, with strong advocates and equally strong and influential detractors. A longstanding scholarly debate turns on whether the precautionary principle’s “vagueness” and openness to multiple interpretations is its key strength or a fatal flaw. The principle has been implicated in the transatlantic conflict between the US and EU over trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), given that the EU evokes the precautionary principle to justify its restrictions on GMO imports from the US.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEssential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781000171990
ISBN (Print)9780367418700
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020


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