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15 - The challenge of global climate change for international law: An overview

from Part I - Sustainable Development: Theories and Practices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2021

Pak Sum Low
Xiamen University Malaysia
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Global climate change presents an unprecedented challenge for all academic disciplines. Here we analyse the challenge presented to certain basic concepts and principles of international law. While new legal regimes have been created and others adapted to respond to the threats posed by climate change, many foundational aspects of international law remain unchanged in the face of very significant problems. The first problematic area is that of the fundamental notion of statehood, as well as issues of sovereignty. And what of the impact of climate change on human rights and humanitarian intervention, as well as on notions of State responsibility and liability? The Asia-Pacific region is already feeling the impacts of frequent intense weather events (whether one sees these as climate change impacts or not) and has the highest figures for the number of displaced persons by region for natural disasters. Thus, where possible, this chapter will draw from examples in the Asia-Pacific region.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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