Environmental law is crucial to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, the current SDG global indicator framework overlooks environment-specific legal indicators.
Thus, existing indicators for measuring progress on SDG implementation rarely refer to the contribution of environmental legislation, thereby disregarding its impact on the success or failure of environmental policies. Legal indicators are therefore needed to accurately assess the effectivity of environmental laws and treaties. They will be key in assisting governments, parliaments and civil society to track improvements, gaps and regressions in order to measure the extent to which legal instruments are effectively implemented, and to chart the path to suitable legal reforms.
To this end, the International Center for Comparative Environmental Law (CIDCE) has outlined an innovative methodology for the development of science-based legal indicators of effectivity. This paper illustrates their usefulness, advocating their establishment to precisely evaluate the effectivity of environmental law at national, regional and global levels, including for reviewing progress in achieving the SDGs that have a direct bearing on the legal protection of the environment.