What is it about?

Climate change is likely to have catastrophic consequences in the near future. Tackling it will require the widest possible international cooperation. Cooperation is now the cornerstone of international law and is critical in the fight against climate change. A new study examines the legal framework that oversees cooperation for combating climate change and discusses the aspects of obligatory cooperation in the interest of the cause. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement all created provisions for international cooperation, defining climate change as a ‘shared challenge of humanity’. They also stated that developed countries must provide financial assistance and technological transfer to developing countries. The International Court of Justice now obligates countries to cooperate for environmental protection under the law, in addition to voluntary collaboration.

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Why is it important?

Cooperation is taking on new dimensions as the consequences of climate change multiply. According to the Paris Agreement, ‘transparency’ requires both developed and developing countries to produce reports on financing and technology transfer that are accessible online. Additionally, it allows emission reductions to be transferred between countries to reduce net global emissions. Climate change is also projected to have disastrous impacts on human inhabitation. Fortunately, the "Global Compact of Refugees" have established a framework for collaboration in terms of inter-territory migration and relocation of people in the event of natural disasters. The author of this study highlights climate change as a potential threat to human rights and states that a ‘positive commitment for cooperation’ is necessary to ensure human rights are protected regardless of the climate issue. KEY TAKEAWAY International cooperation in the battle against climate change entails developing and implementing new environmental laws, helping refugees, protecting human rights, and aligning states to act in accordance with the designated climate policies.

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This page is a summary of: The Obligation to Cooperate in the Fight against Climate Change, International Community Law Review, June 2021, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/18719732-12341469.
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