Sue developed nations for climate inaction

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 6, 2010
Adjust font size:

As climate change negotiators from around the world meet in north China's Tianjin Municipality this week, a new study suggests the United States and other developed nations could be "held responsible under international law" for their inaction on climate change.

Taking industrialized nations to court could "break the current deadlock in the intergovernmental negotiations on climate change," says the report, published by the London-based Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD).

The report notes how climate-vulnerable developing nations have the right, and in selected cases, the procedural means, to pursue inter-state litigation in an international judicial forum such as the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

"While there are various substantive and procedural legal hurdles, under certain circumstances litigation under public international law would be possible and could become a bargaining chip in negotiations," according to a FIELD's statement.

But the report quickly admits the truth, that it is unlikely to have "hard hitting judgments."

The proposed inter-state litigation is just meant to "help to create the political pressure and third-party guidance required to reinvigorate the international negotiations," says the report's lead author, lawyer Christoph Schwarte.

FIELD has summarized its findings in a longer working paper, which it made available as an open wiki document to allow legal academics and practitioners to comment on, criticize or strengthen the arguments.

There has been limited progress in UN climate negotiations since last December's Copenhagen summit where world leaders failed to reach a legally binding agreement, and it is clear that ambitious emission reductions from developed nations are unlikely in the near-term.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from