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Request for advisory opinion from ITLOS

Jurisdiction: International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea


Side A: Co-Chairs of the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (Government)


Core objectives: Whether there are specific obligations by State parties to UNCLOS to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from climate change and protect and preserve the marine environment in relation to climate change impacts.


Summary
On December 12, 2022, the Co-Chairs of the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (the Commission), representing the Commission pursuant to Article 3(3) of the Agreement for the Establishment of the Commission, submitted a request for an advisory opinion from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (the "Tribunal") on the legal questions set out below. The Commission referred the following legal questions to the Tribunal for an advisory opinion:

What are the specific obligations of State Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the "UNCLOS"), including under Part XJI:
(a) to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment in relation to the deleterious effects that result or are likely to result from climate change, including through ocean warming and sea level rise, and ocean acidification, which are caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere?
(b) to protect and preserve the marine environment in relation to climate change impacts, including ocean warming and sea level rise, and ocean acidification?

Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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