International Law Climate Change and International Law
by
Rosa Giles Carnero
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 June 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0080

Introduction

Climate change is a global phenomenon, closely tied to fossil fuel–based development, which exposes states to various degrees of vulnerability. International law needs to develop a system of mitigation and adaptation to climate change that enables states to adjust more readily to new data and requirements, and which takes into account the wide range of different national interests. The response of the international community to this challenge has been to develop an international climate change regime initiated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (9 May 1992). This pioneering text did not set mandatory and concrete obligations to mitigate climate change but established a system of negotiation through which it would be possible to speedily adopt amendments and updates arising from the continuous rounds of negotiations covering development protocols. The negotiation framework created by the Convention resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, adopted on 11 December 1997, which came into force on 16 February 2005; and in the Paris Agreement, adopted by decision 1/CP.21 at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties in December 2015, which came into force on 4 November 2016. The Kyoto Protocol establishes the obligation to reduce controlled greenhouse gases, but the responsibility to reduce emissions refers only to developed nations. The Kyoto system was to run to the end of 2012, by which time negotiations should have concluded with the setting of a new compliance period. After an arduous negotiation process and important delays, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 8 December 2010, and includes new commitments for developed Parties and a second commitment period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020. The Doha Amendment has not yet entered into force, and it is difficult to anticipate when the amendment may enter into force. Taking into account the limits of the Kyoto Protocol model, a new negotiation process was open to adopt an agreement will form the foundation for climate action post 2020. The Paris Agreement includes a general commitment to take ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. This new agreement demands all parties (developed and developing) to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. Preparations for the implementation of the Paris Agreement have been the main focus of discussions in the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, held from 15 to 18 November 2016. This article’s selections include works that analyze the challenges involved in developing an international regime on climate change and texts that examine in detail the climate international treaties and their most significant elements.

General Overviews

Many special editions and journals are dedicated to the various legal aspects of climate change with contributions from leading experts in the field. Carbon and Climate Law Review is a relevant journal for practitioners and academics interested in carbon market and greenhouse emissions regulation. Climatic Change is an interdisciplinary journal useful for the study of all the interconnections of climate change. Climate Law is a journal specialized in climate change and law, useful for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Cournil and Colard-Fabregoule 2010 provides systematically organized texts that describe various aspects of international climate change law. Farber and Peeters 2016 includes a comprehensive approach to the international governance of climate change. The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses and the related website are a useful tool to study causes, impacts, and responses to climate change. Students can obtain a useful guide to learn about the complexity of climate change in Maslin 2014. Wold, et al. 2009 provides an interesting textbook for university students.

Reference Resources and Textbooks

The various general manuals on international environmental law include specific studies of international climate change regulations and the development of the main regulatory elements of the environmental system that are compulsory reading for understanding this issue. Websites dedicated to the study of international climate change regulations are particularly useful for accessing general information and documents issued by the primary international institutions involved in climate change control. Bodansky, et al. 2007 presents an international environmental law manual that covers all the essential elements for a comprehensive understanding of the climate change system, as does Dupuy and Viñuales 2015. A study aimed at university undergraduates, Guruswamy 2012 goes beyond the typical “In a Nutshell” concept to provide a comprehensive starter guide to understanding climate change norms and the international environmental law principles that underpin those norms. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website is a must for keeping up with data on worldwide scientific research and technology relating to climate change. A general overview for undergraduates written in Spanish can be found in Mehling and Brandt 2011. Sands and Peel 2012 includes a section on climate change that is a reference point for analysis of the principal elements in the worldwide negotiations taking place on environmental protection. The United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change offers basic information in several languages on the climate change regime provided by the UN Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law. More general information on the international climate regime and documentation produced by the organizations involved can be found on the official United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website.

Ethics and Science of Climate Change

The literature on climate change offers a wide range of analysis of the fairness underpinning international negotiations on climate change in which the states involved have divergent interests and are at different stages of development. The literature on the scientific and technological developments in climate change aims to clarify the complexities of the legal initiatives on this subject. Adger, et al. 2006 develops a good and general contribution to the reflection on equity and justice for climate change specialists. Cullet 2003 underlines one of the essential elements for understanding the complexity of developing a climate regime, namely, the need to treat each state differently, each according to its characteristics. Gardiner 2011 contributes to the discussion about the moral implications of climate change action. Gupta 2005 focuses on the participation of developing states in establishing a regulatory climate framework. Lohan and Forner 2005 demonstrates the interplay between science and initiatives on climate change by analyzing another of the fundamentals for understanding the development and application of a functioning climate regime. The complex problem entailed in the diversity of positions and interests of each state is examined in Parks and Roberts 2006, while Richardson, et al. 2009 looks at various approaches to the role of developing states within the international climate regime. Soltau 2009 studies the issues of science and fairness in the development of the climate regime.

  • Adger, W. Neil, Jouni Paavol, Saleemut Huq, and M. J. Mace, eds. Fairness in Adaptation to Climate Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2006.

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    This book includes different contributions on a common theme: equity and justice in the development of international climate change regime. A good contribution to the climate change debate. Postgraduate students will find it an excellent aid in reflecting on climate change governance.

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  • Cullet, Philippe. Differential Treatment in International Environmental Law and Its Contribution to the Evolution of International Law. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003.

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    This work deals with an element of the climate change system that is the subject of ongoing debate and review. It is a useful guide for professionals and researchers whose interest lies in understanding the complexity of the international negotiations on climate change as they develop.

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  • Gardiner, Stephen M. A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379440.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book describes the moral implications of the climate change threat. An interesting approach for researchers and policymakers.

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  • Gupta, Joyeeta. “International Law and Climate Change: The Challenges Facing Developing Countries.” Yearbook of International Environmental Law 16 (2005): 119–153.

    DOI: 10.1093/yiel/16.1.119Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This renowned researcher analyzes the position taken by developing nations in the negotiations on climate change. It is an interesting contribution for specialists and investigators as it provides an important perspective on the efficacy of the development and application of the climate regime. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Lohan, Dagmar, and Claudio Forner. “Science-Policy Interaction: Challenges for Ensuring a Credible Climate Change Regime.” Yearbook of International Environmental Law 16 (2005): 155–178.

    DOI: 10.1093/yiel/16.1.155Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The efficacy of the climate change regime depends on taking into account the development and application of scientific and technical considerations. Professionals and researchers can draw on this interesting study of the implications of the interconnection between scientific development and the process of negotiation and application. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Parks, Bradley C., and J. Timmons Roberts. “Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice.” Society and Natural Resources 19.4 (2006): 337–355.

    DOI: 10.1080/08941920500519255Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A useful analysis of the legal implications of the various degrees of vulnerability to which states are exposed, linked to their different levels of development. An interesting study for investigators as it offers an approach that pulls together diverse factors related to international negotiation. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Richardson, Benjamin J., Yves Le Bouthillier, Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, and Stepan Wood. Climate Law and Developing Countries: Legal and Policy Challenges for the World Economy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2009.

    DOI: 10.4337/9781849802321Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Efficient action on climate change requires the involvement of developing states, so their particular situation and interests need to be taken into account in international negotiations on the subject. This compilation is interesting for the variety of viewpoints it offers from a wide range of authors.

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  • Soltau, Friedrich. Fairness in International Climate Change Law and Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511635403Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This work offers experts and researchers a systematic approach to science- and fairness-related problems that arise in climate change negotiations. It also includes a reflection on the main proposals for the future.

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Negotiation Process

The bibliography on the analysis of the negotiation process of the climate regime is extensive and of undoubted importance for updating knowledge and understanding the complexity of the system; there are also various journals that publish works on the latest rounds of negotiations. Baumert 2006 focuses its analysis on the positions adopted by the developing states, whose participation is crucial for the climate change system to work. A good primer for understanding the evolution of the obligations to reduce emissions that appears in the Kyoto Protocol is Boisson de Chazournes 2000. Depledge and Grubb 2006 analyzes that milestone in the development of the regime that was the first meeting of all parties to the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. Chan, et al. 2016 offers researchers an analysis of the new approach to climate change negotiations. Honkonen 2009 examines the climate change negotiation process based on the application of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which is a useful perspective in climate change studies. Massai 2010 provides data that enable an in-depth understanding of the 2012 Copenhagen Accord and updates current knowledge on the subject. Professionals and researchers can refresh their understanding of the subject by consulting specific sections on the development of climate change regulations in the Revista Electrónica de Estudios Internacionales and the Yearbook of International Environmental Law.

Climate Change Convention

The study of the system established in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is fundamental for understanding how the climate regime that it inaugurated works. Most studies examine the regulations on climate change and refer back to the convention to a greater or lesser extent. However, some studies stand out as useful tools for providing a thorough understanding of this international treaty, particularly Bodanksy 1993, which is a key work on the subject, as well as Bothe 2003, a classic work on the Convention that analyzes the contribution of this accord to the general development of international environmental law. Gupta 1997 includes a general overview on the Climate Change Convention and the international climate change regime. Sjöberg 1996 is a good introduction to the financing of the climate change regime. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat 2004 covers the evolution of the Convention and application since its inception, and it is a useful primer for the study of the climate regime. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat 2006 also provides an exhaustive study of the Climate Change Convention in terms that can be understood by the expert and the general public. Verheyen 2007 studies the evolution of the principles set down in the Convention. Yamin and Depledge 2004 offers a broad analysis of the Convention and is equally a good introduction and consultative document on the accord.

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was the first international instrument for imposing obligations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, so an analysis of this document is essential for understanding the current international legal framework on the climate. Most works study regulations on the climate and refer to a greater or lesser extent to the Protocol. However, some titles deserve mention as useful guides to understanding this international treaty and its implications. Douma, et al. 2007 includes main keys to understand the possibilities for the future of greenhouse gas emissions control. The authors collaborating in Giles-Carnero 2012 analyze the state of the question and future perspectives for international climate change following the end of the Kyoto Protocol’s first compliance period. Hovi, et al. 2003 presents the participation problem, which is recurrent in post-Kyoto negotiations. For specialist and public interest, the Kyoto Protocol website is particularly useful, with comprehensive information and documentation. Oberthür and Ott 1999 is a useful starter guide to the main elements of the Kyoto Protocol. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat 2008 is a general and complete guide for practitioners, academics, and public and private institutions. Wicke 2005 analyzes some elements of the Kyoto Protocol that are relevant for the future of the climate change regime. Yamin 1998 is a useful starter guide for postgraduate students and researchers to study the Kyoto Protocol system.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is the last text adopted in the framework of climate change conventions, so an analysis of this document is essential for understanding the new stage of the international regime of climate change. Few studies are available on this topic, but some relevant journals have included special issues focused on the new agreement. Zahar 2016 and van Asselt 2016 can be highlighted.

COP-CMP-CMA Decisions

Conference of the Parties of the Convention, the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol and the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (COP-CMP-CMA) meet every year to revise the development and implementation of the climate change regime. COP-CMP-CMA decisions are crucial to the application of international commitments, and its development can be followed through particular websites. Earth Negotiations Bulletin is a useful tool to be up-to-date on developments and analyzes the daily negotiation process. The UN Convention website Search Decisions of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention and the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol provides relevant documents from the COP-CMP meetings.

Mitigation

The two interrelated objectives of the international climate regime are mitigation and adaptation to climate change. An entire body of literature examines flexibility in relation to the measures states can adopt to mitigate climate change. Literature about flexible mechanisms requires a separate heading, but it is also interesting to include some titles about specific measures of mitigation and the general approach to this goal. Harrison and Lisa McIntosh 2010 includes a comparative analysis useful for policymakers and professionals. Fujikura and Toyota 2012 includes a practical approach to national mitigation systems. Langlet 2009 presents the tricky legal problems surrounding carbon capture and storage. Lin and Streck 2009 focuses on nonstate actors and develops an interesting approach for researchers and practitioners. A general and complete vision on climate change mitigation can be consulted at the United Nations Environmental Programme website. Victor 2011 includes a practical analysis useful for researchers and policymakers.

Flexible Mechanisms

Compliance mechanisms are a particular feature of the climate change regime. Book compilations and journals publish works that analyze both the specific and the general compliance mechanisms. In addition, works on the Clean Development Mechanism are numerous, and they analyze specific aspects of its development and its value as a means to encourage compliance. Barrett 1998 presents a text to be revisited in analyzing the new period of negotiations, with a comprehensive analysis of the costs of flexible mechanisms. Carr and Rosembuj 2008 argues for the effectiveness of flexible mechanisms in the context of the international climate change system. Websites dedicated to the Clean Development Mechanism are particularly useful for accessing general information and documents. The Clean Development Mechanism Bazaar website provides information about CDM projects from a practical perspective. The Clean Development Mechanism website includes all relevant information about this flexible mechanism, useful for beginners and specialists. Cullet 1999 is a useful help to study the interconnections among the common but differentiated responsibilities of states; it is necessary for students and researchers. Repetto 2001 analyzes institutional limits in the Clean Development Mechanism. Voigt 2009 examines another aspect of practical importance, which is the compatibility of applying flexibility mechanisms and WTO law. Wolfrum 1996 is a classic text that reflects on the importance of the use of market mechanisms in the implementation of environmental law.

Emissions Trading

The bibliography on the emissions trading market is vast, covering specific aspects of its development as well as its value as a technique to foster compliance. Bohm 2002 is useful for researchers interested in flexible mechanisms studies. Ellerman and Buchner 2007 presents an interesting analysis on limits and challenges of emissions trading, with a focus on allowance allocation. Frunza 2015 includes a general exposition of implementation problems useful for students and researchers. Hasjürgens 2005 includes a general study on emissions trading and concrete approaches to European and US systems. Hepburn 2007 presents a review of emissions trading useful for university students. Robinson, et al. 2007 analyzes European Union emissions trading, and its presentation of this relevant regulation will be very useful for students and researchers. Stavins 2008 introduces a starter guide for students on emissions trading and flexible mechanisms. Wettestad 2009 presents a study of the interconnections among European and international systems with important consequences for practitioners and academics.

REDD

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is one of the necessary aims to climate change mitigation. Numerous works on this topic analyze the UN-REDD Programme and the different national systems. Bosetti and Lubowski 2010 is a useful book to study the necessary interconnection between REDD and climate change policies. A special issue of Carbon and Climate Law Review includes different titles on forest and climate change. A discussion paper such as Lovera 2008 is a good resource for students and researchers. MacKenzie 2012 is a good starting point for students, researchers, and practitioners interested in analyzing interconnections between forest regulation and climate change. A special edition of Review of European Community & International Environmental Law on issues related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change, is useful for the study of the main ideas underpinning this subject. Savaresi 2011 is recommended for environmental law students and researchers, as well as for practitioners interested in forest management. Streck, et al. 2008 is a practical title studying interconnections between policies of forest conservation and climate change. The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation website provides data for specialists and the general public on the relevance of deforestation projects for the mitigation of climate change.

  • Bosetti, Valentina, and Ruben Lubowski, eds. Deforestation and Climate Change: Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2010.

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    This book includes a complete analysis of REDD and its interconnection with climate change policies. This title can be a useful tool for students and researchers, but it also provides an interesting approach for association and national administration professionals.

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  • Lovera, Simone. The Hottest REDD Issues: Rights, Equity, Development, Deforestation and Governance by Indigenous People and Local Communities. Gland, Switzerland: Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policies of the IUCN, 2008.

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    A discussion paper focusing on different social implications of forest management. A good resource for classes and a good starting point to the study of the topic. Available online.

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  • MacKenzie, Catherine P. “Lessons from Forestry for International Environmental Law.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 21.2 (July 2012): 114–126.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9388.2012.00751.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A comprehensive study of the progress of international forest law. A good starting point for students, researchers, and practitioners interested in analyzing interconnections among different legal systems. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Savaresi, Annalisa. “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries under the UNFCCC: Caveats and Opportunities for Biodiversity.” Yearbook of International Environmental Law 21 (2011): 81–113.

    DOI: 10.1093/yiel/yvr004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Forest conservation shows the different interconnections between the international climate change regime and the international biodiversity regime, and this article focuses on this aspect. A useful approach for environmental law students and researchers, as well as for practitioners interested in forest management. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Special Issue: Articles on Forests and Climate Change. Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 20 (July 2011).

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    A special edition on forests and climate change that includes practical and academic studies on the subject. Articles available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Special Issue: Thematic Focus: Carbon Capture & Storage and the Law—International, Regional and National Perspectives. Carbon and Climate Law Review 3 (2008).

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    This edition focuses on forests and climate change and includes practical and academic studies on the subject. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Streck, Charlotte, Robert O’Sullivan, Smith Toby Janson, and Richard G. Tarasofsky, eds. Climate Change and Forests: Emerging Policy and Market Opportunities. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2008.

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    The authors analyze the efficacy of market-based mechanisms for forest conservation and climate change and present concrete policy recommendations. This title is very interesting for professionals interested in policymaking, as well as for researchers.

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  • United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

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    This website provides information on the workings of this program and the development of various projects; the information ranges from the basic to the complex and is of interest to the general public and researchers, professionals, or specialists in economics with an interest in this initiative.

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Compliance Mechanism and MRV

As with other global environmental regimes, the climate change regime includes a complex mechanism for monitoring compliance that differs from the traditional rules of responsibility and relies more on compliance via cooperation. The complexity of the negotiations and the idea of cooperation are leading to a new approach based on a monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) system more than on classic compliance control. Literature is highlighting this evolution as a tool to achieve significant goals, and international action is ongoing to achieve better results. Breidenich and Bodansky 2009 is a useful point of departure to understand the MRV system and its capacity to be a tool in the development of the climate change regime. Chayes and Chayes 1995 is a classic study, very useful as a starter guide to specialization in climate change regime and climate governance. The UN website Compliance under the Kyoto Protocol is the best source to follow the development of the Protocol Kyoto compliance system. The Division of Environmental Law and Conventions website is a useful tool for postgraduate students and academics interested in compliance and enforcement systems. Kohler 2006 includes a comprehensive analysis of the climate compliance system. Lanchbery 1998 is a good point of departure for researchers interested in compliance mechanisms and climate change governance. Ehrmann 2002 provides students and researchers a comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of environmental compliance systems. Wang and Wiser 2002 studies the importance of the use of flexible compliance mechanisms in international environmental regimes such as the climate regime.

  • Breidenich, Clare, and Daniel Bodansky. Measurement Reporting and Verification in a Post-2012 Climate Agreement. Arlington, VA: Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2009.

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    A useful paper to study the main characteristics of the MRV system and its potential relevance to the development of the international climate change regime. Useful for students and researchers. Available online.

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  • Chayes, Abram, and Antonia Handler Chayes. The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

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    This is a reference book to study the basis of environmental compliance methodology. Students and researchers can find a classic study very useful in understanding the context of the climate compliance system.

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  • Compliance under the Kyoto Protocol.

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    Practitioners and researchers can find general information about the compliance system of the Kyoto Protocol and the Compliance Committee documentation. It is the best source to follow decisions and news from the Compliance Committee.

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  • Division of Environmental Law and Conventions.

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    This website contains useful sources for the study of compliance with and enforcement of environmental multilateral agreements. It is a useful tool for postgraduate students and academics. Specific courses on the matter are included.

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  • Ehrmann, Markus. “Procedures of Compliance Control in International Environmental Treaties.” Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy 13 (2002): 377–443.

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    This article analyzes the significant elements of environmental compliance systems. Effectiveness is the main objective in environmental international law, and alternative and complementary compliance systems are designed to obtain this. Useful for postgraduate students and researchers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Kohler, Juliette Voïnonv. Le mécanisme de contrôle du respect du Protocole de Kyoto sus les changements climatiques: Entre diplomatie et droit. Geneva, Switzerland: Schulthess, 2006.

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    Comprehensive vision on the subject with good analysis of related literature. Useful for researchers interested in compliance matters.

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  • Lanchbery, John. “Verifying Compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 7.2 (July 1998): 170–175.

    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9388.00143Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article analyzes the reporting requirements in the climate change regime and assumes that these requirements are the central point of the effectiveness of the “compliance mechanism.” A good point of departure for researchers interested in compliance mechanisms and climate change governance. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Wang, Xueman, and Glenn Wiser. “The Implementation and Compliance Regimes under the Climate Change Convention and Its Kyoto Protocol.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 11.2 (July 2002): 181–198.

    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9388.00316Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Those researchers studying the use of compliance mechanisms in environmental regimes will find some interesting reflections in this work. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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Adaptation

The two interrelated objectives of the international climate regime are mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Numerous publications deal with the various areas covered by the adaptation objective, and this section offers a brief selection of themes featured in the ongoing debates in the negotiation forums and in doctrine. Selected websites are particularly useful for accessing general information and documents. Adger, et al. 2009 analyzes adaptation from the perspective of environmental and social sciences and provides a complete and practical study. Bonyhady, et al. 2010 includes a complete legal approach of adaptation to climate change, and it is useful for academic and practical purposes. The Cancun Adaptation Framework website provides much information on the development of this agreement on adaptation. The Climate Fund Info website provides practical information for researchers and interested individuals from the public and private sectors. Another multidisciplinary book, Ford and Berrang-Ford 2011, contains a good approach for different types of readers. The Nairobi Work Programme website provides interesting information for researchers and practitioners. Little literature equals that of Schipper and Burton 2008, which systematically tackles the development of one of these climate change regime objectives. Stern 2007 is a reference text about climate change economics and a basic text for students and researchers interested in international climate change action.

  • Adger, W. Neil, Irene Lorenzini, and Karen L. O’Brien, eds. Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values, Governance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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    This book includes a general approach to adaptation to climate change from the perspective of environmental and social sciences. Adaptation to climate change is a complex and multidisciplinary topic, and this book can help with the study and analysis. A good tool for graduate students and researchers as well as for policymakers and professionals.

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  • Bonyhady, Tim, Andrew Macintosh, and Jan McDonald, eds. Adaptation to Climate Change: Law and Policy. Annandale, Australia: Federation, 2010.

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    Adaptation to climate change includes important technical, economic, and social problems, but also legal questions, and this book analyzes this last approach. Different sectors are analyzed to develop a complete study of the matter. It is interesting reading for those concerned with responses to climate change, especially law students and researchers as well as policymakers and practitioners.

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  • Cancun Adaptation Framework.

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    Parties adopted the Cancun Adaptation Framework as part of the Cancun Agreements at COP 16/CMP 6. This website provides information on the development of this agreement. Useful for researchers and public and private institutions.

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  • Climate Fund Info.

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    This website contains information of interest to investigators and interested individuals from the private and public sectors on financing for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

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  • Ford, James D., and Lea Berrang-Ford, eds. Climate Change Adaptation in Developed Nations: From Theory to Practice. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0567-8Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This title includes a complete analysis of adaptation processes with a multidisciplinary approach. Throughout the whole book, the objective is to provide practical lessons and ideas. Policymakers and professionals can obtain valuable experience from the different contributions, and graduate students and researchers will find it a good source of documentation.

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  • Schipper, Lisa, and Ian Burton, eds. The Earthscan Reader on Adaptation to Climate Change. London: Earthscan, 2008.

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    This publication stands out for its systematic analysis of the objective behind adaptation to climate change and the problems and consequences it generates. There is little literature from this perspective, so this reader is of practical as well as academic interest.

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  • Stern, Nicholas. The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511817434Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Stern Review is one of the reference texts about the economics of climate change. This text analyzes the economic context to development mitigation and adaptation responses. It is a basic text for students and researchers interested in international climate change action.

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  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Nairobi Work Programme. Bonn, Germany: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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    This website includes a platform for parties and stakeholders from a range of organizations on which to collaborate on adaptation activities in various sectors and with respect to levels and regions as well as manage knowledge on adaptation. Useful for researchers and practitioners.

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Climate Change Liability

An issue of great importance related to climate change regulation is the study of the effective resources available to claim against damage to the environment, which has increased in tandem with the growing number of statements on this subject issued by national and international courts. Allen 2003 is a good presentation for students of problems involved in legally linking environmental damage and greenhouse gas emissions. Averill 2009 is an interesting general study of the connection between climate change liability and the protection of human rights. Burns 2009 connects climate change protection and the activity of the World Heritage Committee. Grossman 2003 presents new sources for climate change liability interesting for law students and researchers. Faure and Peeters 2011 tackles climate change liability from a theoretical viewpoint and also makes a comparative analysis of the solutions adopted by different member states. Lord, et al. 2011 carries out a broad comparative analysis on climate change liability. Osofsky 2007 explores interconnections between the human rights approach and the effectiveness of climate action. Whitmore 2000 presents possibilities for environmental liability insurance to react to environmental risk; it is useful for law students and researchers.

  • Allen, Myles. “Liability for Climate Change: Will It Ever Be Possible to Sue Anyone for Damaging the Climate?” Nature 421 (2003): 891–892.

    DOI: 10.1038/421891aSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Students can obtain a first approach to factual problems of climate change liability. It is a very clear exposition of the problems in linking a concrete damage and greenhouse gas emissions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Averill, Marilyn. “Linking Climate Litigation and Human Rights.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 18.2 (July 2009): 139–147.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9388.2009.00636.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Of interest to researchers and law specialists, this is a general analysis of the pros and cons of linking climate change liability to the protection of human rights. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Burns, William C. G. “Belt and Suspenders? The World Heritage Convention’s Role in Confronting Climate Change.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 18.2 (2009): 148–163.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9388.2009.00637.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the possibilities of the World Heritage Committee to address climate change mitigation and adaptation issues. This is a new potential way to develop climate change litigation. Useful for academics and practitioners. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Faure, Michael, and Marjan Peeters, eds. Climate Change Liability. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2011.

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    A good balance between an analysis of theoretical questions and a comparative analysis of national regulations; useful for researchers and law experts.

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  • Grossman, David A. “Warming Up to a Not-So-Radical Idea: Tort-Based Climate Change Litigation.” Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 28 (2003): 22–31.

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    This article examines possibilities of climate change liability by studying some possible precedents in US tort law. Law students and researchers can explore new sources of climate change liability. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Lord, Richard, Silke Golberg, Lavanya Rajamani, and Jutta Brunnée, eds. Climate Change Liability: Transnational Law and Practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139084383Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A broad study from an international law standpoint of the potential for regulating climate change liability. It is a practical and comparative perspective of interest to law professionals and researchers.

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  • Osofsky, Hari M. “The Inuit Petition as a Bridge? Beyond Dialectics of Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples.” American Indian Law Review 31 (2007): 675–699.

    DOI: 10.2307/20070803Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article analyzes the Inuit case in the inter-American human rights system. It is interesting for students and researchers as a study of the effectiveness of the human rights approach to climate change action. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Whitmore, Adam. “Compulsory Environmental Liability Insurance as a Means of Dealing with Climate Change Risk.” Energy Policy 28 (2000): 739–741.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0301-4215(00)00058-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines advantages and challenges of environmental liability insurance. Law students and researchers can explore this legal and economic possibility to development climate change liability. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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Climate Change and International Law

New approaches to key pillars of international law have been one of the developments in the climate change regime. In consequence, numerous studies analyze the consequences of this new challenge to the unity and development of international law. A good example is Akhtarkhavari 2011, which shows the interconnection between the implementation of environmental principles and the evolution of international law. This is a key issue for international law students and researchers. Birnie, et al. 2009 is a reference book to understand linkages between general international law and environmental international law. Bodansky 2010 is also a reference book to aid in understanding international environmental law in the context of general international law and international relations. Gupta and Grijp 2010 focuses on the concept of mainstreaming, and it is an interesting title for students and researchers, as well as for policymakers and practitioners. International law students and researchers can follow the International Law Commission website and its relevant works for environmental regimes. McAdam 2012 analyzes the interconnections among different systems, and it is a useful title for researchers and students. Rayfuse and Scott 2012 study the impact of climate change in the international legal system. Verheyen 2005 analyzes the relevance of applying the classic rules of responsibility and is a useful reference point for researchers.

  • Akhtarkhavari, Afshin. Global Governance of the Environment: Environmental Principles and Change in International Law and Politics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2011.

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    The main objective of this book is to show that the implementation of environmental principles is changing international law and politics, and the work includes considerable documentation and analysis. It is a useful title for researchers, academics, and students of international environmental law, international law, and international relations.

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  • Birnie, Patricia, Alan Boyle, and Catherine Redgwell. International Law and the Environment. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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    A reference book to study interconnections between general international law and environmental law, and where the climate change system has played a conspicuous role. A good book for students and researchers to consult.

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  • Bodansky, Daniel. The Art and Craft of International Environmental Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.

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    This book offers a clear guide to the functioning of environmental international law. This title is a reference book to aid in understanding the legal elements of international environmental law in the context of general international law and international relations. Recommended for graduate and postgraduate students and researchers.

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  • Gupta, Joyeeta, and Nicolien van der Grijp, eds. Mainstreaming Climate Change in Development Cooperation: Theory, Practice and Implications for the European Union. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511712067Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Climate change is a transversal environmental problem that underscores the necessity to act in different areas. This book examines the concept of mainstreaming, an interesting approach to deal with climate change challenge. This book is valuable for students and researchers as well as for policymakers and professionals.

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  • International Law Commission.

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    International law students and researchers should follow the work of the International Law Commission and its role in relation to the evolution of the climate change regime. Its work on the fragmentation of international law is particularly interesting.

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  • McAdam, Jane. Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587087.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book examines the interaction among different systems and seeks to determine whether states have obligations to protect people displaced by climate change under international refugee law, international human rights law, and the international law on statelessness. Recommended for students and researchers.

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  • Rayfuse, Rosemary, and Shirley V. Scott. International Law in the Era of Climate Change. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2012.

    DOI: 10.4337/9781781006085Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Different scholarships analyse the impact of climate change in the international legal system. A good tool for graduate and postgraduate classes.

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  • Verheyen, Roda. Climate Change Damage and International Law: Prevention Duties and State Responsibility. Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 2005.

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    The author provides a broad study of the problems of applying the classic norms of responsibility to questions such as the damage caused by climate change. This is a general reference book on international responsibility that is useful for researchers interested in the compliance mechanisms of the climate regime.

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Interconnections with Other Environmental Regimes

A complete understanding of the international legal system governing climate change is incomplete without studies that compare it to other international environmental regimes. This approach is useful for professionals and academics, as it assesses the efficacy of the legal solutions that have been adopted. Akanle 2010 provides an update of the ozone layer regime along with a study of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those starting off their investigations into the international climate regime should consult Axelrod, et al. 2011, which examines this regime as part of a general study of the regulatory and institutional development and application of rules on the environment. Also, for those grappling with the international climate regime for the first time, Borràs Pentinat 2011 is a comparative study of international environmental regimes. Churchill and Freestone 1991 is a classic title about interconnections between climate change and other regimes of international law. Giles-Carnero 2003 undertakes a detailed comparison of the ozone layer and climate regimes and is a useful guide for researchers in environmental governance. Gillespie 2006 studies environmental law with special emphasis on the complexity of the science and politics involved in this field. International Council on Human Rights Policy 2008 is a guide for students and researchers about interconnections between climate change and human rights protection. Young 2010 attempts to draw conclusions from the uneven development of the environmental regimes, which would interest experts and academics studying environmental governance.

  • Akanle, Tomilola. “Impact of Ozone Layer Protection on the Avoidance of Climate Change: Legal Issues and Proposals to Address the Problem.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 19.2 (July 2010): 239–249.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9388.2010.00680.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This text analyzes the success of the ozone layer regime in controlling greenhouse gas emissions and reflects on the efficacy of two regimes that offer protection of the environment, with emphasis on the pollutants responsible for damage to the climate and the need to coordinate both regimes. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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  • Axelrod, Regina S., Stacy D. VanDeveer, and David Leonard Downie, eds. The Global Environment: Institutions, Law, and Policy. 3d ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011.

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    A study of the main debating points on the regulatory and institutional development and application of rules on the environment, in which the problem of climate change is always present. It is a helpful guide for a general understanding of the problems involved in developing an effective climate change regime.

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  • Borràs Pentinat, Susana. Los regímenes internacionales de protección del medio ambiente. Valencia, Spain: Tirant Lo Blanch, 2011.

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    The author presents a study of climate change within a more general analysis of the theory of regimes and which continues with a review of the most important international regimes. It is an easy-to-read comparative guide to the various international environmental regimes.

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  • Churchill, Robin R., and David Freestone, eds. International Law and Global Climate Change. London: Springer, 1991.

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    A classic contribution that explores interconnections among climate change and other international regimes. A first approach to the problems of climate change international law for students and researchers.

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  • Giles-Carnero, Rosa. La amenaza contra la capa de ozono y el cambio climático: Respuesta jurídico—Internacional. Huelva, Spain: Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Huelva, 2003.

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    This book compares the development and implementation of the climate and ozone layer regimes in order to provide a systematic analysis of the key factors that could determine the adoption of workable environmental solutions. This is a constructive handbook for researchers interested in environmental governance.

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  • Gillespie, Alexander. Climate Change, Ozone Depletion and Air Pollution: Legal Commentaries with Policy and Science Considerations. Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 2006.

    DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004145207.i-405Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A practical guide for those studying climate change regulations as part of an overall study of environmental protection. The main problems are posed systematically from a scientific and political perspective with a discussion of their legal impact.

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  • International Council on Human Rights Policy. Climate Change and Human Rights: A Rough Guide. Geneva, Switzerland: ICHRP, 2008.

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    This book treats interconnections between climate change and human rights. Human rights international law can be an effective tool to improve climate change actions. This book is a comprehensive guide for students and researchers.

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  • Young, Oran R. Institutional Dynamics: Emergent Patterns in International Environmental Governance. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2010.

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    The author sets this study of climate regulation alongside other environmental regimes to analyze the question of environmental governance. This is a useful analysis and an in-depth reflection on the elements and limits of climate change control.

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