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The Role of the International Court of Justice in Addressing Climate Change: Some Preliminary Reflections

24 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2017  

Daniel Bodansky

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: August 2, 2017

Abstract

What role might international adjudication play in addressing climate change? Thus far, the international climate change regime has developed primarily through negotiations, marked most recently by the adoption of the Paris Agreement and decisions by the Montreal Protocol parties and the International Civil Aviation Organization to address hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and aviation emissions respectively, two very rapidly growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the Trump Administration's repudiation of the Paris Agreement, it remains our best hope of addressing climate change internationally. But adjudication could also play a constructive role, not as a substitute for the negotiations but as a complement. The essay explores the relationship between adjudication and negotiation, and how an ICJ advisory opinion could work with rather than against the grain of the negotiations.

Keywords: climate change, Paris Agreement, adjudication, international environmental law

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Bodansky, Daniel, The Role of the International Court of Justice in Addressing Climate Change: Some Preliminary Reflections (August 2, 2017). Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 49, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3012916

Daniel Bodansky (Contact Author)

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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