What is it about?

A B S T R A C T Global warming and climate change, a multidisciplinary topic is a matter of international concern. There are some international environmental treaties related to global warming and climate change. The most significant international agreement in this area is - UNFCCC - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and ratified by 195 countries. It mainly deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The Kyoto Protocol which extends the 1992 UNFCC mandates State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: its two basic premises are - global warming exists, and human-made CO2 emissions caused global warming. The Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 and each COP has served as the ‘meeting of parties’ to Kyoto Protocol such as COP13 (Bali, 2007), COP15 (Copenhagen, 2009), COP16 (Cancun, 2010), COP17 (Durban, 2011), COP18 (Doha, 2012), COP19 (Warsaw, 2013), COP21 and (Paris, 2015).There are other international legal instruments such as 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution. Against this backdrop, this paper will critically examine the existing international legal regime (treaties, conventions, agreements, etc.) on global warming and climate change.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Global Warming and Climate Change: A Critique on International Law and Policy *Dr. Lisa P Lukose1 1University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India E mail: drlisarobin@ipu.ac.in A B S T R A C T Global warming and climate change, a multidisciplinary topic is a matter of international concern. There are some international environmental treaties related to global warming and climate change. The most significant international agreement in this area is - UNFCCC - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and ratified by 195 countries. It mainly deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The Kyoto Protocol which extends the 1992 UNFCC mandates State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: its two basic premises are - global warming exists, and human-made CO2 emissions caused global warming. The Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 and each COP has served as the ‘meeting of parties’ to Kyoto Protocol such as COP13 (Bali, 2007), COP15 (Copenhagen, 2009), COP16 (Cancun, 2010), COP17 (Durban, 2011), COP18 (Doha, 2012), COP19 (Warsaw, 2013), COP21 and (Paris, 2015).There are other international legal instruments such as 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution. Against this backdrop, this paper will critically examine the existing international legal regime (treaties, conventions, agreements, etc.) on global warming and climate change. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2017) 1(3), 38-42. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.3677 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Global warming and climate change is no longer a problem of the future generation, though it continues to affect future generations. Global warming from carbon dioxide (C02) and other greenhouse gases pose aseverethreat to the international community. The Earth’s atmosphere is dilapidated at an unprecedented rate. Law plays a critical and important role for the effective and equitable climate change governance. There is some legal framework adopted to address the issues relating to global warming and climate change. However, global warming and climate change is not an isolated topic to address independently. It is connected to all environmental issues. This paper attempts to examine: 1. Why is global warming of serious concern? 2. How does the present international legal regime respond to climate change? 3. What are the lacunae in the existing international laws? 4. How can climate law respond better to the diverse contemporary requirements? 5. 2. Method and Material The author has adopted a doctrinal and analytical method to develop this paper. The material is drawn from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources are the legal instruments while secondary sources are offline and online resource materials which are cited in this paper at relevant places. 3. Effect of Global Warming The immediate effect of global warming is climate change. The impact of global warming is in fact much beyond climate change. It adversely affects human development, and it does have a long-term impact on the environment. Temperature increase, extreme weather events, flood, drought, sea level rise, erratic precipitation, melting glaciers, reduced snow cover are few impacts to mention. Its impact on aquaculture, biological diversity, agriculture, health, and livelihood is dangerous. It also adversely affects a broad range of other human rights (Workshop in the Context of the UNFCCC COP 20 , 2014), for example,right to food, indigenous peoples right, etc. A large section of the world population is suffering from the effects of climate change. In 2009 it was estimated that about 300000 people die annually due to the adverse effect of climate change and 325 million are further seriously affected (Annan, 2009). Since developing countries have less financial and technological resources, they are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 4. UNFCCC 1992 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (one among the three adopted at the Rio Earth Summit-1992) is described as “first steps to a safer future” which was a global response to climate change. Because the global community for the first time recognized and accepted that the climate change is a ‘problem’ despite having less scientific evidence than now.It is adopted on 9 May 1992 and came into force on 21 March 1994. It is one of the most widely accepted treaties having a near-universal membership. It neither has any binding limit on the emission of green gas for member countries nor has enforcement mechanisms. The basic aim ofUNFCCC is to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. By borrowing from the Montreal Protocol 1987, it bounds member states to “act in the interests of human safety even in the face of scientific uncertainty.”UNFCCC is an international framework seeking global cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable. It obliges the members to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. It states how specific international treaties/protocols/Agreements may be negotiated to accomplish UNFCCC objectives. 5. UNFCC to KYOTO By the agreements adopted in Copenhagen (2009) and Cancun (2010) countries promised to set a goal of maintaining temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also explored financial options for implementation of REDD-plus actions. The developed countries committed to mobilizing $100 billion a year in public and private finance for developing countries by 2020. COP 17 at Durban (2011) recognized that “smart government policy, smart business investment, and the demands of an informed citizenry, all motivated by an understanding of mutual self-interest, must go hand in hand in pursuit of the common goal.”

Perspectives

Global Warming and Climate Change: A Critique on International Law and Policy *Dr. Lisa P Lukose1 1University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India E mail: drlisarobin@ipu.ac.in A B S T R A C T Global warming and climate change, a multidisciplinary topic is a matter of international concern. There are some international environmental treaties related to global warming and climate change. The most significant international agreement in this area is - UNFCCC - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and ratified by 195 countries. It mainly deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The Kyoto Protocol which extends the 1992 UNFCC mandates State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: its two basic premises are - global warming exists, and human-made CO2 emissions caused global warming. The Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 and each COP has served as the ‘meeting of parties’ to Kyoto Protocol such as COP13 (Bali, 2007), COP15 (Copenhagen, 2009), COP16 (Cancun, 2010), COP17 (Durban, 2011), COP18 (Doha, 2012), COP19 (Warsaw, 2013), COP21 and (Paris, 2015).There are other international legal instruments such as 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution. Against this backdrop, this paper will critically examine the existing international legal regime (treaties, conventions, agreements, etc.) on global warming and climate change. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2017) 1(3), 38-42. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.3677 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Global warming and climate change is no longer a problem of the future generation, though it continues to affect future generations. Global warming from carbon dioxide (C02) and other greenhouse gases pose aseverethreat to the international community. The Earth’s atmosphere is dilapidated at an unprecedented rate. Law plays a critical and important role for the effective and equitable climate change governance. There is some legal framework adopted to address the issues relating to global warming and climate change. However, global warming and climate change is not an isolated topic to address independently. It is connected to all environmental issues. This paper attempts to examine: 1. Why is global warming of serious concern? 2. How does the present international legal regime respond to climate change? 3. What are the lacunae in the existing international laws? 4. How can climate law respond better to the diverse contemporary requirements? 5. 2. Method and Material The author has adopted a doctrinal and analytical method to develop this paper. The material is drawn from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources are the legal instruments while secondary sources are offline and online resource materials which are cited in this paper at relevant places. 3. Effect of Global Warming The immediate effect of global warming is climate change. The impact of global warming is in fact much beyond climate change. It adversely affects human development, and it does have a long-term impact on the environment. Temperature increase, extreme weather events, flood, drought, sea level rise, erratic precipitation, melting glaciers, reduced snow cover are few impacts to mention. Its impact on aquaculture, biological diversity, agriculture, health, and livelihood is dangerous. It also adversely affects a broad range of other human rights (Workshop in the Context of the UNFCCC COP 20 , 2014), for example,right to food, indigenous peoples right, etc. A large section of the world population is suffering from the effects of climate change. In 2009 it was estimated that about 300000 people die annually due to the adverse effect of climate change and 325 million are further seriously affected (Annan, 2009). Since developing countries have less financial and technological resources, they are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 4. UNFCCC 1992 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (one among the three adopted at the Rio Earth Summit-1992) is described as “first steps to a safer future” which was a global response to climate change. Because the global community for the first time recognized and accepted that the climate change is a ‘problem’ despite having less scientific evidence than now.It is adopted on 9 May 1992 and came into force on 21 March 1994. It is one of the most widely accepted treaties having a near-universal membership. It neither has any binding limit on the emission of green gas for member countries nor has enforcement mechanisms. The basic aim ofUNFCCC is to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. By borrowing from the Montreal Protocol 1987, it bounds member states to “act in the interests of human safety even in the face of scientific uncertainty.”UNFCCC is an international framework seeking global cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable. It obliges the members to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. It states how specific international treaties/protocols/Agreements may be negotiated to accomplish UNFCCC objectives. 5. UNFCC to KYOTO By the agreements adopted in Copenhagen (2009) and Cancun (2010) countries promised to set a goal of maintaining temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also explored financial options for implementation of REDD-plus actions. The developed countries committed to mobilizing $100 billion a year in public and private finance for developing countries by 2020. COP 17 at Durban (2011) recognized that “smart government policy, smart business investment, and the demands of an informed citizenry, all motivated by an understanding of mutual self-interest, must go hand in hand in pursuit of the common goal.”

Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs
Girne American University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Global Warming And Climate Change: A Critique On International Law And Policy, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, September 2017, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2018.3677.
You can read the full text:

Read

Contributors

The following have contributed to this page