The prime ministers of two small island nations that face ongoing impacts from rising sea ranges will seem at authorized hearings at a global court docket in Hamburg, Germany, on Monday, and search an advisory opinion on the obligations of nations to fight local weather change.
Prime Ministers Kausea Natano of Tuvalu and Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda will give proof on the Worldwide Tribunal for the Legislation of the Sea, which is able to take into account whether or not carbon emissions absorbed by the ocean needs to be thought of marine air pollution, and what obligations nations have to guard the marine surroundings.
The tribunal will concern an advisory opinion, which isn’t legally binding, however presents an authoritative assertion on authorized issues that might information international locations as they craft local weather safety legislation.
The prime ministers, representing the Fee of Small Island States on Local weather Change and Worldwide Legislation (COSIS), will argue that international locations have an obligation to guard the marine surroundings below the UN conference on the Legislation of the Sea, together with from greenhouse fuel emissions.
“We come right here looking for pressing assist, within the robust perception that worldwide legislation is a necessary mechanism for correcting the manifest injustice that our individuals are struggling on account of local weather change,” mentioned Tuvalu’s Natano.
Extreme carbon air pollution leads to harm to the oceans, together with coral bleaching and acidification.
Low-lying island states like Tuvalu and Vanuatu are additionally liable to turning into submerged by water by the tip of the century as a consequence of slow-onset local weather impacts.
Small island nations have additionally sought authorized readability on nations’ local weather obligations in different courts. Vanuatu led a marketing campaign to ask the Worldwide Court docket of Justice (ICJ) to concern an advisory opinion on international locations’ obligations to handle local weather change.
The UN Normal Meeting in March voted to refer the case to the ICJ, which is able to concern an opinion in 2024.