Workshop on International Law, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development International Environmental Law and Natural Resources John McEldowney School of Law, University of Warwick The objective of the paper is to discuss sustainable development and its value in reconciling interests of developing countries in controlling and protecting natural resources with the interests of the international community. China and India are fast becoming the world’s largest carbon emitters, India accounts for 83% of the worldwide increase in 2011-12 and China ranked as the largest carbon emitter. The shift in economic power from Europe and America to China and India sets new challenges for sustainable development and the need for new strategies and policies. The signs are not encouraging and the outcome of any new strategies unpredictable. Sustainable development has failed to mitigate global warming particularly in the response of developed nations. The chances for strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to have success in developing economies are slim unless fresh steps are taken. Some form of enforceable regime in international law to reduce the rate of greenhouse emissions is necessary and the protection of carbon sinks such as rain forests. Alternative suggestions may not be feasible. Slowing economic growth may not be possible or even desirable given the fragility of the world economy. Clean technologies including carbon capture and storage go some way to might mitigate the problem of rising global temperatures but require substantial investment. Finding fairer means to distribute costs and responsibilities is essential if the international community is to be taken seriously. Linked to the protection of natural resources are democratic building responses to ensure the stability of the state and the redress of social inequalities. This engages with the literature of Held and Giddens’ who are wary of delegating power to bureaucracies but favour better state planning, flexible regulation and taxation in a policy mix of political choices. Fragile democracies, however, may not be able to withstand additional economic burdens or responsibilities that are also vulnerable to corruption and suffer from political instability. Power inequalities have favoured richer countries, often at the expense of the poorer. International organisations may have a key influence through sustainable development packages linked to cooperation and capacity building for climate change mitigation and adaptation. International law paradigms including respect for the rule of law may act to restrain unsustainable behaviour. The problem of finding some means to mitigate global emissions and support sustainable economic growth is a question that confronts both developing and developed worlds with difficult responsibilities to answer.