New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Chapter 13: Overlaps and Gaps
INTRODUCTION Amongst other concerns, climate change, persistent organic pollutants, pollutants which impact upon the ocean environment but originate from terrestrial sources, and even warfare are all serious threats to biodiversity and the ecosystems that it exists within. However, in each case, a clear anomaly has arisen due to gaps and overlaps which have developed within international conservation law. In theory, this means that international conservation law is fragmented and far from a complete and coherent schema. In practice, there are some areas which require international attention and the formation of new instruments. Arguably, this is the case with some of the gaps in the networks of protected areas, of which the need for coherent regimes to deal with both forestry and marine protected areas on the high seas, are the most obvious. In others, the solutions to conservation problems can only be solved indirectly through the workings of existing, and often barely related, international instruments. This is the case with climate change, multiple types of pollutants, and war. 2. CLIMATE CHANGE In 2001 the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested that the world could warm between 1 and 5.8 Celsius by 2100. This figure was revisited in 2007 and a new estimate of average surface temperature increase in the range of 1.8 and 4.5 Celsius by the year 2100 was presented. The IPCC did not pinpoint any specific temperatures as any future increases are dependent on issues such as technology, demographic change, and economic development. Potentially rapid increases of...
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