Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Thursday 9 July - 17:30-19:00 UPMC Jussieu - ROOM 103 - Block 24/34

3323 - Governance and Justice

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): C. Corendea (United Nations University Institute for Environmnet and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, NRW, Germany)

Convener(s): J. Moss (Practical Justice Institute, Sydney, Australia)


Human Dignity & the Future of International Environmental Governance in the light of ICJ Jurisprudence: A Normative Analysis

K. Bansal (International Policy Analysis Network (IPAN), Karnal, Haryana, France)

Abstract details
Human Dignity & the Future of International Environmental Governance in the light of ICJ Jurisprudence: A Normative Analysis

K. Bansal (1)
(1) International Policy Analysis Network (IPAN), Karnal, Haryana, France

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More than being an attempt to suggest a direction for the further policy discourse, this paper presents a normative perspective which espouses and analyses Human Dignity as a School of Law with regards to International Environmental Governance.

The paper begins with an introduction of Human Dignity as the foundation of modern public international law and explains it further in the light of Elementary Consideration of Humanity doctrine as developed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This part explains the irreversible connection between the contemporary principles of international environmental governance and human dignity by relying upon various legal authorities and opinions.

The second part of the paper brings out the deficits of international environment law. It is argued that in the light of the conceptual trinity of sources of international law as enshrined in Article 38 (1)(c) of the ICJ Statute, one may observe that the deficit of international environment law is trilateral: treaty law, customary rules and the general principles of international law.

In the third part, this paper comprehensively analyses international environmental jurisprudence as developed by the International Court of Justice in order to address the deficits in the law as pointed out in the second part of the paper. It is argued that the ICJ’s environmental jurisprudence reflects that progress in the international environment law can well be secured by the application of general principles of international law. Here, relying upon the ICJ jurisprudence, four such core principles are also identified which provide the basis for an environment specific legal application.

The objective of this paper is two-fold: firstly, to take forward the discourse on the future of global governance norms in the light of human dignity as the core principle, especially with regards to environmental governance; secondly, to propose the fundamental principles through a normative analysis which should form the cornerstones of the broader discussion taking place during the conference. 


Justice and equity in REDD+

A. Wardell (CIFOR, Montpellier, France)

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Justice and equity in REDD+

A. Wardell (1)
(1) CIFOR, Montpellier, France

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The UNFCCC adopted Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, enhancement of carbon stocks, conservation, and sustainable management of forests in developing countries (REDD+) as a climate mitigation mechanism given the scale of CO2 emissions resulting from the conversion and degradation of tropical forests (ca. 12-15% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)), and the early belief that avoiding deforestation would be a ‘quick, cheap and easy’ mitigation option. REDD+ was originally conceived as a system of Payment for Environmental Services which aimed to link sellers and buyers via voluntary, conditional agreements over a well-defined environmental service – or a land use presumed to produce that service. The majority of funding, it was anticipated, would come from carbon markets.

Despite the significant technical, methodological and policy challenges that still need to be met, it is likely that REDD+ will be a component of a new climate change agreement given the Copenhagen Accord, the outcomes of the work on REDD+ safeguards of the AWG-LCA in Cancun, the Warsaw REDD+ Framework, the ADP’s continuing efforts to address Non-Carbon Benefits, non-market based approaches and joint mitigation and adaptation, and the emergence of a plethora of project-based and jurisdictional REDD+ standards. This despite the effective collapse of (forest) carbon markets, and an overall negative performance at a global scale (GHG emissions in 2012 were at 58% higher levels than they were in 1990 cf. Article 2 of the Convention). REDD+ activities are now financed predominantly as part of Official Development Assistance programmes. The added incentives promised by REDD+ are likely to heighten the existing struggles for access to, and control over land and forest resources. As new values are assigned to forests, contestation between statutory and customary systems of individual and communal property regimes are likely to be exacerbated.

This paper adopts a ‘rights, responsibilities, revenues and relationships’ framework to highlight the (relatively) limited attention accorded, to date, to develop appropriate legal frameworks for REDD+ often in contexts distinguished by legal pluralism and multiple framings and dimensions (procedural, distributive and contextual) of ‘justice’ and ‘equity’ at different scales of governance. It raises questions (again) about the limits of ‘blueprint development’ that often privileges external actors (and their knowledge systems) over local communities. Complex legal issues such as those related to land tenure, benefit sharing, constitutional compliance, conflict resolution and liabilities have not been adequately addressed to provide enabling legal frameworks for REDD+ implementation. The paper draws on collaborative research conducted by CIFOR and IDLO in Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.


Law and Governance Instruments for Sustainable Landscapes in the Low-Carbon Economy

M.-C. Cordonier Segger (CISDL - Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), Cambridge, United Kingdom), A. Wardell (CIFOR, Montpellier, France), G. Markus (LCIL, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge , Cambridge, United Kingdom)

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Law and Governance Instruments for Sustainable Landscapes in the Low-Carbon Economy

MC. Cordonier Segger (1) ; A. Wardell (2) ; G. Markus (3)
(1) CISDL - Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), c/o LCIL, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom; (2) CIFOR, Research capacity and partnership development, Montpellier, France; (3) LCIL, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge , Cambridge, United Kingdom

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Sustainable development of landscapes requires multi-sectoral and multi-level interventions, in order to deliver on the potential opportunities of the low-carbon green economy. What international law and governance instruments can assist land-use decision-makers, particularly in forest, agriculture, extractives and other sectors, to promote more sustainable trade and investments? New governance research and legal analysis is focusing on the innovative international economic instruments that global treaty processes, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, offer to provide incentives towards more sustainable landscapes. At the same time, while the Doha Development Agenda remains stalled in the WTO, emerging regional trade and investment treaty measures are seeking to encourage sustainable development of renewable energy, forests and other resources. These international regimes, and the financial flows that they govern, might serve to frustrate more sustainable development, requiring robust application of social and environmental safeguards. Or, if implemented in an effective and integrated manner, they may hold the potential to foster more sustainable development on the ground and across transnational value chains, providing levers for countries to ensure better governance of scarce natural resources in a way that supports global efforts to respond to climate change mitigation, resilience and financing challenges.  Based on recent books and multi-country climate law and governance studies, this paper explores the key international, national and local policy and regulatory innovations, world-wide, and considers how can recent emerging treaty-based regimes and instruments contribute to sustainable landscapes governance.


Migration, environment and climate change: legal frameworks and challenges

D. Mokhnacheva (International Organization for Migration, Paris, France)

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Migration, environment and climate change: legal frameworks and challenges

D. Mokhnacheva (1) ; A. Sironi ()
(1) International Organization for Migration, DMM/MECC, Paris, France

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The issue of a legal framework to address environmental migration is a widely debated topic. There is no internationally accepted legal definition or specific status for people on the move due to environmental factors, and no legal instrument dedicated specifically to this issue. As a result, ensuring the protection of affected individuals seems challenging in the absence of one instrument that identifies the applicable rights and corresponding States obligations tailored to the specificity of environmental migration. This has led to strong calls for international efforts to create a specific legal status for environmental migrants.

This presentation will provide an overview of the particular challenges environmental migrants may face in terms of human rights and justice; existing legal instruments, their applicability in the context of environmental migration, as well as their limitations; and discuss the prospects and challenges for creating a protection framework for those displaced or migrating in the context of climate change. As the leading migration agency, IOM will share its practical experience and emphasize the importance of a rights-based approach to the management of environmental migration.


Hybrid Legal Approaches towards Climate Change: Concepts, Mechanisms and Implementation

C. Corendea (United Nations University Institute for Environmnet and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, NRW, Germany)

Abstract details
Hybrid Legal Approaches towards Climate Change: Concepts, Mechanisms and Implementation

C. Corendea (1)
(1) United Nations University Institute for Environmnet and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Environment, Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation (EMSVA), Bonn, NRW, Germany

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In the light of better understanding global risks, this paper will explore environmental risks from a climate change legal-related perspective, in particular human rights and migration, focusing on the core of the problem and not essentially on the form, drawing on and using regional level experiences, such as Pacific Islands. The paper will address climate change triggers, such as sea-level rise impact on national and regional law upscaling to international law, for considering a potential legal approach, not just in terms of mitigation, but also in terms of adaptation, risk reduction, transfer of technologies, climate finance and capacity building.

Hybrid approach is based on the (International) Hybrid Law, a legal research tool which concurrently, indivisibly and interrelated analyse a climate change case study from three perspectives: environmental law, human rights and refugee (migration) law. Hence, the research is simplified, using a single lens as a replacement for a three way analyse.

It was noted that having the main cause in breaching international environmental law, e.g. violation of the principles of international environmental law, the main legal effects are mostly to be found in the human rights law, due to its unavoidable first impact upon the targeted society. Secondary, as a subsidiary effect, there is refugee (migration) law, because of the same strong impact, regardless of the type of response: immediate, intermediate or long-term.

There are two methodologies the research will make use of in regards to address the issues mentioned above:

  • Rights-based approach which will emphasise the bottom-up standpoint as imperative in the post-2015 climate agreement (human oriented analyses, loss and damage, etc.)


  • The progressive interpretation of law methodology which will underline the need of hybrid approaches in addressing climate change from a legal perspective in particular in relation to human rights (direct effect) and migration (as subsidiary effect).

The paper applies international hybrid law methodology in its innovative endeavor to address the challenging questions of the existing legal gaps in international law, environmental (legal) risks and human security in an unprecedented global circumstance, when States, for the first time in the history of the humankind, are projected to disappear from the world map without war.


The expected outcomes of the paper are as follows:

  • How rights and hybrid approaches apply to climate risks and lead to migration, as subsidiary effect at local, national and international level;
  • How to use hybrid legal tools in climate change and migration related cases;
  • To address the questions of legitimacy and sovereignty under international law, of a State without a territory lost due to climate change triggers and provide preemptive legal solutions to potential risks associated with this unparalleled state of affairs.

Exporting Harm

J. Moss (Practical Justice Institute, Sydney, Australia)

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Exporting Harm

J. Moss (1)
(1) Practical Justice Institute, Social Sciences, Sydney, Australia

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In this paper I will discuss an aspect of the problem of how to divide the World’s remaining ‘carbon budget’ - the amount of CO2-e that can be emitted if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. I will argue that there is a prima facie case for allocating responsibility for the harms caused by exported emissions such as those produced by coal, as well as those that are produced within a country’s borders. This is not a complete determination of the carbon budget problem by any means, but a step towards its development.

My paper sets out some of the factors that determine a country’s carbon budget and argues that the current methods for allocating emissions and responsibilities for their harms are inadequate and more complex than they appear.

The paper will consider several dimensions of the harm caused by unrestricted fossil fuel exports. First, what kind of harm is caused by such exports? Second, whether analogies exist between other harmful exports ­ medical waste, tobacco, unsafe jobs, uranium ­ and fossil fuels to examine how the kind of harm caused by global warming is different from standard cases of harm where only two parties are involved. Third, whether unrestricted export of fossil fuel exports satisfy a ‘fair shares’ criterion. Finally, what allocating responsibility for harms means in practice.