Title: Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons: an assessment of the environmental provisions

Authors: Bahram Ghiassee

Addresses: Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, England, UK

Abstract: To address the significant risks posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons, and the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their testing and use, the international community, in July 2017, adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty aims to offset the lack of credible progress in nuclear disarmament by the five nuclear-weapon states. This paper provides an assessment of the extent to which the provisions of this treaty, and other nuclear-related international legal instruments, address environmental issues. This study finds that the notion of 'environmental protection', or 'Protection of Ecological Systems', is absent from the ambit of the treaty. To offset the strong anthropocentric stance of the treaty, it is recommended that the treaty be amended, or an 'additional protocol or annex' be adopted, with a view to incorporating specific environmental protection provisions.

Keywords: treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons; nuclear weapons; nuclear weapons and the environment; nuclear governance and ecology; nuclear disarmament; nuclear proliferation; international nuclear law; multilateral nuclear agreements; NWFZ; nuclear-weapon-free zones; environmental radioactivity; international law; international legal instruments; humanitarian law.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNGEE.2019.106019

International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, 2019 Vol.4 No.4, pp.238 - 255

Received: 04 Feb 2019
Accepted: 29 Nov 2019

Published online: 16 Mar 2020 *

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