Island nations seek to protect the climate through the law of the sea

Written by Valerie Volcovici

(Reuters) – The prime ministers of two small island nations dealing with the persevering with results of rising sea ranges will seem at authorized hearings at a world court docket in Hamburg, Germany, on Monday, looking for an advisory opinion on the international locations’ obligations to fight local weather change. It modifications.

Prime Ministers of Tuvalu, Kosia Natano, and Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, will give proof earlier than the Worldwide Tribunal for the Legislation of the Sea, which is able to contemplate whether or not carbon emissions absorbed by the oceans must be thought of marine air pollution, and what obligations international locations have to guard the marine setting.

The court docket will problem an advisory opinion, which isn’t legally binding, however offers a proper assertion on authorized points that may information international locations as they draft local weather safety regulation.

The prime ministers, representing the Small Island States Committee on Local weather Change and Worldwide Legislation, will argue that states are obligated to guard the marine setting beneath UNCLOS, together with greenhouse fuel emissions.

“We’ve got come right here to ask for pressing help, with the sturdy perception that worldwide regulation is a vital mechanism for correcting the clear injustice our individuals are struggling because of local weather change,” mentioned Tuvalu’s Natano.

Extreme carbon air pollution is inflicting injury to the oceans, together with coral bleaching and acidification.

Low-lying island states akin to Tuvalu and Vanuatu are additionally vulnerable to being submerged by the top of the century attributable to slow-onset local weather impacts.

Small island states have additionally sought authorized clarification on states’ local weather obligations in different courts. Vanuatu has led a marketing campaign to ask the Worldwide Court docket of Justice to problem an advisory opinion on states’ obligations to handle local weather change.

The UN Common Meeting voted in March to refer the case to the Worldwide Court docket of Justice, which is able to problem its opinion in 2024.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici, Enhancing by Diane Craft)

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