Rehabilitation: A Proposal for a Climate Compensation Mechanism for Small Island States
Santa Clara Journal of International Law 81 (2015)
44 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2019
Date Written: 2015
For over two decades, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has attempted to craft a funding mechanism that would address loss and damage resulting from climate change. With a steady drumbeat, AOSIS has developed and advocated a three-pronged proposal, emphasizing the need for more robust approaches to (i) disaster risk reduction and management, (ii) risk transfer, that is, shifting risk from one to another through insurance, and (iii) compensation and rehabilitation. Relative to the urgency and enormity of the climate crisis, the overall package is underdeveloped, with some members of the international community expressing reservation or outright resistance to its evolution. Comparatively speaking, however, the former two prongs have received more attention, with risk transfer or insurance being the most developed element of the proposal. As the specter of irreversible, slow-onset events-such as sea level rise, drought, and ocean acidification looms larger and more concrete, means for rehabilitating vulnerable island states has become particularly important. In this article, Professor Burkett explores the crucial elements of a funding mechanism to address the significant impacts of slow-onset events on small island states and provides a rationale for a compensation and rehabilitation mechanism, as well as a proposed framework for implementing it.
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