The Anthropocene brings with it a risk of environmental disasters at scales not previously experienced. This chapter argues that disasters caused or made worse by climate change are appropriately addressed under the rubric of international climate law rather than global disaster policy. A turn to generic disaster risk reduction in response to the risks of climate disasters in the Anthropocene is no substitute for the urgent task of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Instruments such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as important as they are, can offer only wishful thinking when it comes to the governance of environmental disasters in the Anthropocene.
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Rosemary Lyster and Robert R.M. Verchick
Duncan French and Louis J. Kotzé
This chapter provides the context, a broad introduction and the essence of each of the chapters in the book.
Edited by Ed Couzens, Tim Stephens and Saiful Karim
The aim of this article is better to understand the relationship Japanese people have with birdlife, wetlands and environmental law. The article uses a case study of the Japanese ‘red-crowned’ crane (the tancho) and Ramsar sites in Eastern Hokkaido to examine Japan's environmental governance systems and actors and the extent to which they utilize the principle of public participation. The topic is significant because of the urgency with which wetlands and birdlife are being lost in East Asia and the impacts such loss will have on communities and national identity. The observations in this article have relevance for neighbouring Asian countries like China and Korea, both of which have their own cultural perceptions and legal protections to consider.
The Paris Agreement is the first climate treaty to include a reference to traditional knowledge, opening up a new legal frontier to address this complex subject in international law. Traditional knowledge has already been the subject of considerable regulatory developments in international environmental and human rights instruments. This article reflects on how these bodies of law treat traditional knowledge, with the objective of understanding what are the gaps that could and should be addressed in the context of the climate regime. The article is divided into four parts. The introduction outlines the article's structure and methodology. Section 2 provides a definition of traditional knowledge and identifies the international law questions it raises. Section 3 analyses existing international obligations on traditional knowledge in environmental and human rights law. Section 4 considers the interplay between the climate regime and the bodies of international law analysed in Section 3. The conclusion offers some recommendations on the treatment of traditional knowledge in the climate regime.
Edited by Sam Adelman
In recent years, the Arctic region has reappeared as a centre of world politics and attracted the interest of stakeholders from within and outside the circumpolar North. The region is literally melting and the term ‘Arctic geopolitics’ has become a popular catchphrase to illustrate the Arctic’s status quo and its allegedly fluid future. During that time the European Union also discovered its Northern neighbourhood. Concerned about an unstable Arctic region and related spill-over effects reaching Europe, the EU has shown considerable interest in having a determining influence on future regional developments. It envisioned an Arctic future alongside its own conceptualisation of world order, rule of law and good governance.
Alina Averchenkova, Sam Fankhauser and Michal Nachmany
Chapter 1 offers an overview of the book and summarizes the state and trends in climate change legislation. Making use of a unique global database, Climate Change Laws of the World, the chapter identifies over 1,200 climate change laws and policies of similar stature in the 164 countries the data covers. This stock of laws is the result of over 20 years of policy making and speaks to the growing attention that legislators are devoting to climate change. In 1997, at the time the Kyoto Protocol was signed, there were only about 60 relevant laws and policies. Countries use different routes to address climate change. In some countries the primary avenue is acts of parliament, that is, formal laws passed by the legislative branch. In others, the policy direction is defined through executive orders, decrees and strategies. Climate change laws also differ in scope and ambition. Some laws are specifically focused on climate change, advancing explicitly emissions reduction or adaptation targets. Others introduce climate concerns into sector policies, such as those on energy, or broader development plans. Understanding these different approaches becomes increasingly important as countries implement their pledges under the Paris Agreement.