Current Developments

(Un-)Precedented?

The relevance of the Urgenda case to the Children vs. Climate Crisis Communication

The communication brought by sixteen children before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to address the effects of states’ inaction on climate change seems at first glance unprecedented and foreign to our common ideas about international environmental law. Yet, as the Urgenda case shows, a rights-based approach to climate change is not wholly unheard of. Individual communications to the Committee on the Rights of the Child              The fact …

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Current Developments

International climate change adjudication: A means to amplify voices of the global south?

Traditionally, the UN Climate change regime has been premised on an intergovernmental negotiations paradigm where political actors play the dominant role in the development of norms. In this post, I argue for using international adjudication as a supplementary tool to complement international negotiations. Adjudication, which entails the participation of impartial, third‑party decision makers, might help us overcome blind spots of negotiations by redistributing argumentative burdens and providing an expressive function …

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Current Developments

Thank you, Greta & friends!

Procedural aspects on the climate crisis-related communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Sixteen children, among them the popular Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, from 12 different countries have filed a communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure. The communication complains of a rights violation by five different states: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. The petitioners’ claim: Each of these states …

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Current Developments

A chain as strong as its weakest link

Climate science and legal causation after the Mozambique floods

In spring 2019, Mozambique was hit by a large-scale disaster. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth tore through the country on 14 March and 25 April, resulting in heavy rainfall and causing major flooding in five of the country’s eleven provinces. The disaster had devastating impacts on affected communities’ enjoyment of their human rights. UNICEF’s Humanitarian Situation Report, published on 31 July 2019, estimates that 1.7 million people in Mozambique continue to …

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Current Developments

Poor due to climate impacts

The threat of climate apartheid looms large over the world, says new UN Report

UN special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Phillip Alston, recently released a report assessing the impact of climate change on human rights, especially the rights of people livingin poverty, who are also the most vulnerable to climatic catastrophes. Poor people are most exposed to climate vulnerability because of where they live, their livelihood activities or lack of resources to cope with climatic shocks. It leaves people in destruction, …

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Current Developments

Winter is (no longer) coming

The impact of the Arctic melt on Inuit peoples

Climate Change is an all-engulfing global challenge, triggering its share of fear, skepticism and most recently outright denial. This reality is alarming. An IPCC special report warns of global temperatures rising 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. By 2080, the Arctic Summer Sea Ice is expected to disappear completely. Unfortunately, States continue to ignore the horrifying prospect of a vanishing arctic, and its impact on the lives of the Arctic …

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Current Developments

Centenary struggles: climate change & informality at ILO 100

One of the most disruptive new realities transforming the contemporary world of work is that of climate change. Escalating dislocations, disasters, floods, extreme heat, and other ‘exceptional’ catastrophes are on the horizon, globally. As a further matter, the social and economic burdens of climate change will most severely impact individuals and communities living and working in situations of informality, broadly meaning, in the absence of rights and social protection. The …

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DiscussionResponse

Climate Change and the Arctic as a Common Concern

A response to Birgit Peters. In her blog post Birgit Peters reflects on “recent rules and approaches” for protecting the Arctic region in a time of intense climatic changes. Peters emphasizes what she understands as a shift from traditional regulatory approaches that frame the Arctic as a common heritage and common concern, focused on prohibition, to an integrated approach focusing on sustainability. Peters in this respect discusses the role of …

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DiscussionKick-off

When climate change hits the Arctic

What to make of recent rules and approaches

Climate change in the Arctic Climate change, in particular global warming, is an inevitable fact. Nonetheless, it will hit different regions of the world differently. Of all regions, the area most affected by future temperature change is the Arctic. This is the part of the global north, which is situated above 66,3 degrees latitude. Here, differences in temperatures are predicted to rise at least 3 degrees Celsius compared to the …

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Klima- und umweltbedingte FluchtSymposium

„Bring justice in!“

Klimaflucht in den internationalen Klimaverhandlungen

Nur wenige Tage nach Beginn der Klimakonferenz 2013 in Warschau traf der Taifun Haiyan die Philippinen. Es war einer der stärksten tropischen Stürme seit Beginn der Wetteraufzeichnungen. Schnell verbreitete sich auf der Konferenz die Nachricht von den verheerenden Folgen der Naturkatastrophe. Mehrere Tausend Menschen waren gestorben, Millionen waren obdachlos geworden. Yeb Sano, Delegierter der Philippinen, forderte die Weltgemeinschaft in einer bewegenden Rede dazu auf, den Stillstand in den Klimaverhandlungen zu …

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