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November 09 , 2010

European Sustainable Carriage of Goods

The Role of Contract Law


This work discusses the rapidly developing European transport policy on sustainable freight and the connected efforts initiated by the European Commission (EC) on greening transport by the means of contract law.

Greening transport has been a central goal for the EU for decades. The main problem has been, and still is, that far too much carriage of goods within the EU is performed unimodally: by road carriage alone. This has caused severe problems particularly in central Europe, where both trade and environment is suffering from an ineffective transport industry with growing problems of congestion and pollution. A modal shift in transport from mainly road based to a form of transport in which more environmental friendly modes such as rail, inland waterways and sea born transport are integrated into one transport chain, is hence an objective of the EU. If successful, this model could then be extended to the international transport community.

The key question raised in this book is whether the traditional role of contract law is changing to such an extent that the parties involved must take external interests into account. In the case of the EU’s efforts to enhance sustainable carriage of goods within its realm, the author explores whether governmental interference is necessary, or if we can trust that the parties will integrate environmental issues into their contracts because there is a demand for such clauses. The different proposals for an EU regime on multimodal contracts of carriage are discussed in this context.

This book will be of great relevance to academics and practitioners with an interest in EU law, transport law, environmental law and maritime law in general.

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