The Scope of Codes of Conduct for corporate environmental responsibility
Multinational corporations (MNCs) have emerged as major actors in the global economy and international society is becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on the population and the environment. At present no global regulatory regime is in place to ensure that corporations act in an environmentally responsible manner, especially in host developing countries. All efforts at regulation have been voluntary initiatives from intergovernmental organizations, and, in particular, international and regional codes of conduct that focus on the impact of business in two main areas: social conditions and the environment. These codes are voluntary in nature and have no enforcement mechanism. This note examines the environmental approaches of these instruments. The guiding question is whether environmental provisions included in international codes of conduct fall within international environmental law principles and whether they influence the environmental behavior of MNCs.
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