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dc.contributor.authorHUF, Ben
dc.contributor.authorSLUGA, Glenda
dc.contributor.authorSELCHOW, Sabine Ulrike
dc.identifier.citationContemporary european history, 2022, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 553–569en
dc.descriptionPublished online: 10 November 2022en
dc.description.abstractThe role of business and multinational corporations (MNCs) in early international environmental governance is not well understood. Typically, historians accord business growing influence after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, coincident with the rise of a market-oriented sustainable development paradigm. In this article, we highlight the considerable involvement of self-styled business actors in the formative 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment and subsequent establishment of the UN Environment Programme. Tracing the interconnected networks of British economist Barbara Ward, Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei and Canadian oilman-turned-UNEP boss Maurice Strong, we identify business actors as key in the passage from ‘planetary’ to ‘global’ environmental rationales characteristic of environmental politics between the 1970s and 1990s. However, we also show that business was a sought-after (even if often ambiguous) partner in the 1970s’ moment of innovative ‘planetary’ environmental thinking and institution making. The contested status of MNCs in 1970s internationalism shaped this early business involvement in the history of environmental governance.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis programme has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 885285).en
dc.publisherCambridge University Pressen
dc.relation.ispartofContemporary european historyen
dc.titleBusiness and the planetary history of international environmental governance in the 1970sen

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