This article aims to shed light on the newly proposed initiative to negotiate a ‘Global Pact for the Environment’. After an overview of the Pact, the article discusses the main provisions of the current draft of the Pact, such as the right to live in an ecologically sound environment, the codification of existing environmental principles and the introduction of new principles. The article examines the relationship between the Pact and existing multilateral environmental agreements and institutions and comes to the conclusion that the stated intention for the Pact to serve as a ‘legal umbrella’ for the existing multilateral environmental treaties raises both political as well as legal questions. Furthermore, the Pact possesses only limited potential to strengthen international environmental law. Nonetheless, the initiative has the potential to trigger reforms in international environmental law by putting the protection of the environment at the top of the global agenda.