14 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1985)

handle is hein.journals/envpola14 and id is 1 raw text is: 






R EYZZITAZL


   The recent referendum in Austria was aimed at a complete reversal of the
country's energy policy, and the abandonment of major power stations in the
future. The stimulus was provided by the success in halting the planned
Danube  hydro-electric dam at Hainburg by an injunction of the High Court.
However,  this was not due to environmental considerations, but rather on
procedural and technical grounds. (A summary of the Court's decision will
appear in the next issue). This success led to a misjudging of public opinion
and an over-expectation. The organizers were sure they would poll at least
500,000 votes, whereas the final result was 350,000. Why? They had simply
demanded  too much.
   Under Austrian law, the result is similar to a petition; if a minimum of
100,000 votes are polled, parliament must discuss the case. Obviously, such a
low poll is, politically speaking, harmful for those working for the environ-
ment. This over-stretching of demands has been seen in several instances to
be self-defeating in its goals.
   The next summit of Western Industrial Nations will take place shortly and
one thing of particular interest was the announcement that the conference
will consider aspects of the environment. A preparatory meeting took place
in London  on 19 December last year of environment ministers of summit
countries, but at which France did not appear. It is insisting that the summit
retain its form and does not like sub- or working groups meeting in advance,
as it feels this causes the summit to become too formalized or structured. The
London  conclusions will be submitted to the May meeting. However, as Mrs.
Thatcher has decreed an economy drive in the environment field, it will be in-
teresting to see what actually does emerge from the summit.
  In concept, the programme of the World Commission for Environment
and Development  (see page 4), is an admirable one; but it is an irresistable
conclusion that, although the underlying philosophy is to be applauded, the
extremely broad remit which the Commission has given itself presents a real
danger that its particular strengths may be dissipated and the opportunities
presented by this initiative on the international level may not be maximized.
The Commission  is of particular value because of tis wide range and of the
tension and respect which the proceedings of a body composed of such
distinguished members is said to command. Would, however, these advan-
tages not be better deployed if the Commission were to identify some specific
areas and to lend its very considerable authority to the promotion ofsome ge-
nuine progress towards the solution of the problems surrounding those
elements? Should it not rather concentrate on fields not covered by other in-
stitutions or which can better be handled by other fora?
   We also intended to bring an article by Prof. Kiss on a symposium held in
January on Antarctica, but, unfortunately, there was not sufficient space this
time. But certainly next issue.
                                                    22nd March 1985


LETTER
TO THE EDITOR


  Dear  Sir,
  In  a recently issued journal we
could  find ICEL  indexed  as being
legal, but under the same group-
ing -  surprise, surprise, we found
The  Mothers-In-Law Club Inter-
national   of  Cedarhurst,  N.Y.,
while  under  the  heading   Law-
Hydrology   we  were impressed  to
find the International Association
of Water  Polo Referees!
  I  know   that  the  ELIS/IUCN
system is not such an automatic
one. Could   it be that they in the
past had the same  experience?
Yours  sincerely,

Karin  Korte,  Hindenburgallee  31,
D-5300  Bonn  2

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