Climate JusticeSymposium

Pursuing climate justice through public interest litigation: the Urgenda case

This blog post critically examines the contribution of public interest litigation to the global fight for climate justice. I consider the Urgenda case, which culminated in the Netherlands’ Supreme Court ruling of 20 December 2019, as an excellent example. Urgenda is a foundation, established under Dutch law, which claims to protect the public interest all of us have in a more sustainable society. It persuaded the Court to order the …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

‘Staying with the trouble’

Sensing climate change in the Anthropocene

Among the issues raised in the call for contributions to the symposium on ‘Climate Justice – International Law in an Age of Catastrophe’, we find the question whether ‘international law as we know it [is] able at all to deliver solutions to the climate crisis, or [whether] is it part of the problem’. ‘In other words’, the call for contributions proceeds, ‘the question is whether the current crisis can be …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

International law in an age of catastrophe

Introducing our climate justice symposium

The symposium on climate justice is starting on the blog today, and it appears both a most urgent and a curious moment for it. Last year, the climate crisis finally entered broader public debate. Young people around the globe protesting for much needed climate action succeeded in putting the topic on the agenda, and the attention it received in the media grew exponentially. Earlier this year, when we published our call …

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Current Developments

Dealing with marine debris the ASEAN way

A critical analysis of the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris and its impact

According to current estimates, about eight million tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into the ocean every year. As per a 2019 Report by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment more than half of this comes from just five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. All of these excluding China recently signed the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region …

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Interview

Whose rights? Whose justice? (Second part)

An interview with Marta Torre‑Schaub on climate liability and climate justice

Völkerrechtsblog is pleased to present the second part of the interview with Marta Torre‑Schaub. In this section, we will discuss the status of the Amazonian forest in international law, the importance of national litigation for climate protection and questions of climate justice for the most vulnerable states and groups. This completes the picture of legal liability under international law for environmental damage in the field of climate change. Given the vulnerable …

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Current Developments

Climate change in the Security Council

On the road to qualifying climate change as ‘threat multiplier’

Wildfires are heating the Earth from the Arctic to the Amazon, islands are drowning, and the record for the hottest year has been broken every year since 2015. No one would doubt that climate change causes these events. Despite people from all continents protesting in the streets to urge decision-makers to eventually take action to help combat climate change, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has not taken any binding measures …

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Interview

Quel droit? Quelle justice? (Deuxiéme partie)

Une interview avec Marta Torre Schaub sur la responsabilité et la justice climatique

Völkerrechtsblog est ravi de vous présenter la deuxième partie de l’interview avec Marta Torre‑Schaub. Dans cette partie, nous parlerons du statut de la région Amazonienne en droit international, de l’importance des contentieux nationaux pour la protection du climat et de la Justice climatique envers les États et les groupes les plus vulnérables. Ces éléments complèteront le tableau de la responsabilité juridique en droit international pour les dommages causés à l’environnement dans …

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Current Developments

More than just a scientific report

The global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services as scientific and political tool

In May 2019, headlines worldwide suddenly became concerned with biodiversity. News sites and journals all quoted a report from the United Nations and its alarming conclusions that a million species could go extinct in the near future. In other terms, approximately one out of eight species, both plant and animal, is threatened with extinction. This massive extinction will be accompanied by a global ecosystem collapse and the consequent loss of …

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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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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Keeping it clean (part II)

On the protection of outer space as part of the environment

This Bofax is the second part of a two-part series – inspired by India successfully testing an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile against an Indian satellite and thereby causing space debris – that deals with selected issues revolving around the use of ASAT missiles against satellites of other states. When space objects such as satellites are destroyed, a cloud of particles of different sizes, known as space debris, remains. This debris can …

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