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This Conference seeks to provide insight into the growing interactions between international environmental agreements and the constellation of private standards operating in the field of environmental protection.

Detail Summary
Date 15 April 2016

Aim of the Conference

The conference will seek to present the latest research results on how alternative modes of regulation (hybrid and private) and different forms of regulatory instruments (command-and-control, market-based, suasive) can complement the operation of international agreements. The conference aims at presenting and discussing: 1) the results of the ‘Smart Mixes’ project; and 2) the results of other research that has been conducted on mixes that have supplemented or could be considered for supplementing international environmental agreements. It also aims at identifying specific policy recommendations that can be based on these outcomes of research.

The conference will bring together academics, policy advisers and practitioners with a view to translating the research results into sound environmental policy advice.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof. Jessica Green (NYU)
  • Prof. Lars Gulbrandsen (Fridtjof Nansen Institute)
  • Prof. Marjan Peeters (Maastricht University)
  • Prof. Philipp Pattberg (VU University Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Linda Senden (Utrecht University)


The increasingly complex nature of transboundary environmental problems, such as global warming, deforestation, fish stock depletion, oil pollution and biodiversity loss, and the risks associated with such problems, pose a fundamental challenge to policy makers worldwide, namely that of designing an effective global environmental governance system. States have traditionally resorted to the conclusion of international agreements as a means of targeting environmental problems, thus giving rise to a rich body of international law. Nonetheless, over the last years doubts have been voiced about the capacity of these agreements to effectively counter environmental problems.

In response, we have seen a profound expansion in the development of alternative regulatory instruments that can complement international agreements. In part, these alternatives reflect a turn to the market as a force through which environmental goals can be achieved. States themselves increasingly resort to combinations of command-and-control, economic and informational instruments. Partly related to the turn to the market, we also have seen an emergence of a network of private actors, often acting across borders, which engage in the creation of environmental initiatives, either beyond or in collaboration with the State. Thus, international environmental law nowadays operates in tandem and in certain instances interacts with private or hybrid initiatives existing on all levels of governance.

This conference is organized within the framework of the research project 'Smart Mixes in relation to Transboundary Environmental Harm'.

Participation & Registration

The number of available places is limited, therefore interested participants are kindly requested to register with Rosalie Dieleman (


Forumzaal, Van der Goot (M) Building, Woudestein Campus, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Address: Burgemeester Oudlaan 50 3062 PA Rotterdam