Research Handbook on Climate Disaster Law
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Research Handbook on Climate Disaster Law

Barriers and Opportunities

Edited by Rosemary Lyster and Robert R.M. Verchick

Through assessing climate disaster law in relation to international, public, private and environmental law this Research Handbook considers the unique challenges, barriers and opportunities that climate disasters pose for law and policy. Scientific and empirical evidence suggests that the laws addressing natural disasters cannot be adequately applied to disasters that are caused by climate change. Featuring contributions from leading international experts, this Research Handbook will be a useful resource for those with an interest in environmental law and international policymaking.
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Chapter 2: The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the international climate change regime

Lavanya Rajamani


The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) is a central foundational pillar of the international climate change regime, but it has also generated considerable disagreement between Parties over the years. The extent to which the climate change regime will succeed in its goals to limit climate change and reduce the risk of disasters depends on the extent to which this principle can be effectively operationalized. In its absence — if states believe themselves to be treated unfairly — the international climate change regime will flounder, dramatically increasing the risk of runaway climate change and disasters. This chapter examines the principle of CBDR-RC, including its core content, its legal status, and its operationalization in the Paris Agreement. The chapter pays particular attention to the aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as they relate to disaster risk reduction.

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