International Environmental Law

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Emissions Trading: As COP26 is delayed by COVID-19, some thoughts on the international linking of domestic schemes

Introduction Last month, the COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19.  One consequence: agreement on the rules for a global emissions trading scheme under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement will be deferred again, to at least 2021.  As agreement under Article 6 has been delayed in the past, various groups – including the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) and Carbon Market Watch – have advocated for increased linking of domestic schemes.  The thinking is that this would encourage the creation of a global carbon market and thus the harmonisation of regulatory standards, and that it would also lower the costs of reducing emissions globally.  In that context, this post briefly considers existing international and domestic schemes, as well as the risks to market actors as those schemes evolve and interact, before suggesting how these risks can be mitigated, thus maximising the intended benefits of internationalisation.

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Justiciability of ‘implicit’ rights: Developments on the right to a healthy environment at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

On 6 February 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) issued a landmark judgment on the protection of environmental rights as directly justiciable (original in Spanish). For the first time, the IACtHR found state responsibility for violations of the right to a healthy environment, adequate food, water and cultural identity. Such responsibility was based on article…

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The Curious Fate of the Doha Amendment

The Doha Amendment has yet formally to enter into force. However, as this note will explain, this treaty is already producing most of its intended legal effects. The Doha Amendment The 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) created a regime aimed at mitigating climate change. Five years later, the Kyoto…

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Risky business: Uniper’s potential investor-state dispute against the Dutch coal ban

In pursuit of the ambitious long-term goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial times, various European countries have decided to phase out coal. While such policies are necessary to tackle climate change – after all, coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel…

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Public Interest Litigation Before Domestic Courts in The Netherlands on the Basis of International Law: Article 3:305a Dutch Civil Code

In recent years, the domestic courts in The Hague (Netherlands) have produced a series of judgments on matters of global concern, adjudicated on the basis of international law. All of these judgments have immediately been heralded as “a new classic” or “the most important court decision […] in the world…

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