Core Environmental Principles

The Environmental Law Centre recognizes several core environmental principles that are required for strong and effective environmental laws, policies and legal processes.

These core environmental principles are:


• sustainability,
• precautionary principle,
• pollution prevention,
• polluter pays,
• cumulative impacts,
• intergenerational equity and
• public participation.


In addition to these core environmental principles, environmental laws, policies and processes must be:
• constantly improving,
• reflective of and contributing to evidence-based best practices,
• open, transparent and accountable.


Attached below, you can download a document that provides definitions of the core environmental principles adopted by the ELC in its strategic plan. This document is intended only to provide definitions of the core environmental principles; it does not provide analysis of how successfully the core environmental principles have been implemented in Alberta. A brief survey of case-law and statutes (federal and Alberta) that have referenced the core environmental principles is also included for your reference.


Click here to read the document. (pdf)

Latest Core Environmental Principles News