This chapter looks at the self-interest argument in the field of environmental protection and environmental policy and law in the international setting. The axiom of self interest, commonly associated with economics, now covers many other disciplines. The idea that the pursuit of self interest will bring conservation benefits for all is not unusual within environmental thinking. However, there are a number of problems with this view. The perceived self interest is more in terms of direct benefits, such as those related to mental and/or physical well-being. Areas of the environment are protected, or pollution is avoided, because a certain action has a direct benefit on humanity.
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