The latest edition of the Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law has a Special Issue on International and European Chemicals Regulation, with many articles free during its first month online. Legal frameworks are one main way through which industrial pollution are defined: terms of harm, responsibility, and circulation, some of the defining features of pollution, are debated, agreed upon, and codified in legal forums. The Minamanta Convention on Mercury is the first environmental agreement in a decade to set these terms across nations, prompting the special issue. From the editorial leading the special issue:
The end of 2013 marked the adoption of the first multilateral environmental agreement in a decade, with the Minamata Convention on Mercury seemingly countering the trend of an increasing turn to softer forms of regulation in the international environmental arena. Clearly, whether the adoption of the Minamata Convention will spark a renaissance of hard international law in the field of the environment remains to be seen. Yet the very fact that countries across the world managed to agree on a new environmental treaty in the first place is remarkable, especially following disappointments such as the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 and the Rio+20 meeting in 2012.