While environmental law is an emerging profession in the United States, it is also plays a big role on the international stage.
In the U.S., environmental laws are governed at the local, state, and federal level, and each level can have its own ideas on how best to use and protect the government. The same is true for international governments, which come from countries with varying natural resources. Environmental issues are often highly discussed and debated between countries, and it can be difficult in coming to concise agreements on environmental regulations.
In 1972, the United Nations held the very first international summit to discuss environmental issues, and another followed 20 years later. In that 1992 summit, the United Nations established the Rio Declaration that says societies should develop the Earth so it meets both human and environmental needs now and in the future.
International governments also write and collectively sign treaties that are used to protect the environment. Treaties, regulated by the UN Environment Program and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, are a main way for the global society to respond to current and active threats against the environment.