Transnational environmental law (TEL) is a relatively new field of research that is agitated by the concept of the Anthropocene. Like environmental law, TEL suffers from certain methodological challenges which are exacerbated by the sheer ammount of activity involved in the generation of transnational legal norms and regulation. This article argues that, despite some of these challenges, TEL is well placed to evolve further to better regulate human activity in the Anthropocene. It argues that to better reflect on what the Anthropocene means for TEL and how it may develop in practice, it must engage further with power, the problem of erasure of weaker actors, and the legacies of colonialism on the one hand, and the sciences – particularly Earth system science and ecology - on the other. By doing so it would offer a more robust analysis of TEL and insights into its further development in practice.
- Transnational environmental law scholarship should be contextualised by the concept of the Anthropocene, to trigger evaluation of TEL and its theoretical and practical sufficiency to regulate human activity.
- TEL scholarship should seek to overcome methodological challenges that inhibit its ability to address global environmental crises.
- TEL Scholarship should be attentive to power, erasure of weak and vulnerable communities and the legacy and continuing impacts and influence of coloniality on transnational law and its structures.
- TEL scholarship should also engage with Earth system science and ecology to better analyze the law, identify and engage with its dominant paradigms and create transformative solutions to better regulate human activity.
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich