Climate JusticeSymposium

La solidarité dans le droit international: entre mythe et réalité

Le droit international n’est pas toujours conforme à l’image que l’on veut lui donner, et qu’en donne les internationalistes, qu’ils soient positivistes ou relativistes. Les critères sont relatifs et ne peuvent être tranchés dans un sens ou dans l’autre car il ne s’agit pas de pures visions subjectives. Aussi paradoxal que cela peut paraître, le droit international est tel quel à travers la manifestation des volontés étatiques. Cependant, il est …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Could “Net”-Zero Emissions prove to be a fatal blow for climate justice?

In 2015, after intense lobbying efforts and to the frustration of many climate justice activists, the Human Rights dimension of climate change was included not in the text, but only the preamble to the Paris Agreement. In the aftermath of the agreement, John Knox – at the time UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment – stated that „the Paris Agreement signifies the recognition by the international community …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Art. XX GATT 1994 – Climate change and disadvantaged nations

As signs of a looming climate catastrophe emerge, international law scholars and lawyers frequently seek additional paths to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions and to protect the environment. On a regular basis, their eyes turn towards the legal order of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Partly, this is due to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism (DSM), since an equivalent compulsory system of adjudication is wanting in international environmental law. In this regard, …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Securing pathways to environmental justice for indigenous women

Multilateral Development Banks and environmental violence in the Americas

Across the Americas, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) or the World Bank (WB), finance public and private projects to support the development of the region. Although these projects often participate to the improvement of socio-economic conditions, they may also adversely impact the rights of local communities, cause severe damages to the environment, and fuel the climate crisis. In particular, Indigenous women have been disproportionately …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Access to justice and climate-related disasters: Do we need “disaster justice”?

The world is experiencing an increasing number of disasters, both those caused by natural hazards and those linked to human activities, and this fact renders cooperation and coordination at the international level more and more important in the field of disaster (risk) management. Although it is a subject that has been actively discussed at the international level, available remedies in current international law for individuals affected by disasters are still …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Klimagerechtigkeit – ein Recht auf Heimat?

Das Thema Klimagerechtigkeit hat in den letzten Jahren viel Aufmerksamkeit erfahren. Die explizite Aufnahme von Klimagerechtigkeit in die Präambel des Pariser Übereinkommens von 2015 wurde sowohl von Aktivisten als auch Umweltrechtlern als Meilenstein gewertet. Dabei hat sich das Prinzip der Klimagerechtigkeit aus dem Konzept der Umweltgerechtigkeit (environmental justice) über die Jahrzehnte entwickelt. Ging es Umweltaktivisten der ersten Stunde noch um die gerechte geographische Verteilung von Nachteilen, die aus der Nutzung …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Displacement in connection with climate change: does transitional justice offer a lens for durable solutions?

Forced displacement is not a recent phenomenon. However, in recent years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has estimated that there are over 65.6 million persons forcibly displaced from their homes as a result of conflicts, disasters, persecution, and other factors. In fact, the number of individuals forcibly displaced is the highest since the Second World War. Given this unprecedented number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide, corresponding protection …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Democratising international climate law

Reflections on a global citizens’ climate assembly

Government centred action has so far failed to respond adequately to the climate crisis, opening the space for new governance experiments, including through subnational coalitions, social movements and private standards. In the search for new ideas to facilitate the necessary transformations to move to a low-carbon economy, climate citizens’ assemblies – randomly selected representative citizens gathered to make recommendations on how to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets – have recently …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

The state is dead – long live the state! Statehood in an age of catastrophe

The geographical impact of climate change on statehood is rather clear. Ever since scientists have been warning about climate change and the rise in sea levels it would involve, several small island nations have been at the center of a discussion involving in situ adaptation, possible cross-border migration, and statehood. Indeed, the future of states such as Tuvalu, Kiribati or the Maldives poses a challenge to the traditional concept of …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Judging climate change obligations: Can the World Court rise to the occasion?

Part II: What role for international adjudication?

In Part I of this post, we sought to identify the core rules of international environmental law that needed evolution and clarification for a claim relating to climate change to succeed. We now turn to how international adjudication might help to achieve genuine legal change. The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been at the centre of the UN’s various initiatives on the issue, and at the …

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