Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Distributive Justice in International Law
REVELING IN THE WILDS OF CLIMATE LAW, R. Lyster, ed., Australian Academic Press, 2009
23 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 6, 2009
This article considers how international law responds, fails to respond, and ought to respond, to the special global problems (including conflict) posed by increasing resource scarcity, particularly shortages of food, water and energy. It demonstrates that international law has been historically poor at articulating and realizing any aspiration of global distributive justice, despite some promising developments in specialised branches of law such as international environmental law and the law of the sea. It argues that distributive justice is an important global ethical principle which ought to animate and underpin the international legal order, and that there is sufficient global political solidarity and community to enable such a principle to be pursued. Distributive justice can assist in addressing poverty and defusing resource conflicts. Embedding a principle of distributive justice is ultimately likely to enhance the legitimacy of the international legal order which, in the long run, will help to establish the conditions for human dignity, shared prosperity and global peace.
Keywords: climate change, resource scarcity, distributive justice, right to development, new economic order, environmental conflict
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation