Responsibility of Transnational Environmental Pollution under International Environmental Law

  • Hakeem O. Ijaiya
Keywords: Environment, trans-boundary pollution, environmental responsibility, State responsibilities, wastes


The issue of transnational environmental pollution is a problem that poses threat to the existence of the world and its inhabitant. Concerted efforts have been made by the international community and individual States to curtail the effect of transnational environmental pollution. This note examines the liability of polluter States, and the legal challenges in establishing transnational responsibility for environmental pollution. Accordingly, effort is made to identify the effects and the measures put in place under international and national laws to checkmate transnational environmental pollution. It is found that some international laws require international arbitration; Pollutant State is required to undertake due diligence to prevent significant or substantial trans-boundary pollution harms and not strict liability; and that international laws creating State responsibilities for transnational pollution are not incorporated in national laws. This note brings the observation that international community should have taken proactive steps towards proper management of the environment. It further underlines consequences when companies and developed nations smuggle hazardous wastes to developing countries that do not have the capabilities to deal with the waste in an environmentally friendly way.