‘Relevant Rules’ as Normative Environment: Harmony vs Cacophony in the ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Climate Change

On 21 May 2024, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered its much anticipated Advisory Opinion on Climate Change. Other blog-posts have already dealt with various aspects of the Advisory Opinion (see, for instance, here and here), including the Tribunal’s approach to interpreting the United Nations […]

Developments in Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilities Through December 2023

Local opposition has proven to be a significant barrier to the rapid expansion of renewable energy facilities across the United States. A new edition of the Sabin Center’s Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilities in the United States report identifies 378 renewable energy projects across 47 states that have encountered significant opposition. […]

More than a Sink: The ITLOS Advisory Opinion on Climate Change and State Responsibility

The oceans absorb large quantities of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities. This “sink” function is so significant that, until 1957, one objection to a causal link between anthropogenic emissions and global warming was that the oceans would absorb most of the excess CO2, thus breaking this link. That […]

Finding Light in Dark Places: Specific Obligations for Climate Change and Ocean Acidification Mitigation

  Can the new advisory opinion interpreting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) move us beyond the lethargy of unmet climate change policy needs? The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (the Tribunal, ITLOS) established the gravity of this question by stating that […]

Guest blog post: Japanese Court Upholds Mistakes in post-disaster Energy Policy in Yokosuka Climate Case Decisions

  On February 22, 2024, the Tokyo High Court ruled against an appeal in the Yokosuka climate case. The case was filed by 45 residents in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture in 2019. The residents sought an injunction to block the construction of 2 coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) which had been […]

Guest Blog Post: UN Draft Treaty on Transnational Business Enterprises and Human Rights in the Making: Raising the Global Bar in Corporate Litigation

Upon the initiative of the United Nations Human Rights Council (the UNHRC), a new legally binding agreement regulating transnational business enterprises’ human rights violations is likely on its way. If / when the Treaty is adopted and enters into force, it will have a significant impact on corporate liability. The […]

ITLOS and the importance of (getting) external rules (right) in interpreting UNCLOS

The Advisory Opinion handed down by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on 21 May 2024 is truly remarkable. Its clarification that all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, from any source, constitute marine pollution has potentially far-reaching consequences. Under the United Nations Convention of the Law […]