Abstract

“Preventing future calamity requires not only agreement but action. Governments and other responsible groups are usually accused of reacting to crises rather than foreseeing and preventing them. We have an opportunity here to show that experts, scientists, lawyers, and governments can foresee potentially catastrophic dangers, and prevent them from happening.” This abstract demonstrates the philosophy, issues and objectives of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) adopted since the 1970s. Climate change has been described as “the most challenging environmental issue of our time,” and one cannot help but associate this abstract with the construction of, what is called today, the climate regime. Following the process launched at the Rio Conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in May 1992 and a protocol to the Convention followed in 1997: the Kyoto Protocol. Back in 1992, in “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDRs), “common” meant that there is a universal responsibility to act for the benefit of “present and future generations." Thus, common responsibilities embody both the notions of “common concern” and “common heritage of humankind,” two notions “as old as international environmental law itself.” In other words, environmental issues such as climate change have too much of a universal impact for the response to be “solely a matter of domestic jurisdiction.” The CBDR principle is only an expression of differential treatment. Other expressions of differentiation are used in the climate regime and could take precedence in the future. It is parties’ actual obligations that will matter to combat climate change. In order to do so, the climate regime must keep a balance between commitments and assistance. Indeed, although adaptation to climate change and assistance are truly important issues, one has to realize that the fight against climate degradation cannot be fought without commitments from stronger polluters to reduce their emissions. The notion of responsibility is central in CBDR but current contributions to climate change cannot be forgotten. COP22 which will be held in Marrakesh between the 7th and 18th of November 2016, will constitute a new opportunity for developed/developing countries to further debate and enhance the latter principle in the light of the commitments/assistance balance that must be maintained.
Full Paper
Imad Antoine Ibrahim
Research Associate
Paolo Davide Farah
Founder, President and Director

Summary

“Preventing future calamity requires not only agreement but action. Governments and other responsible groups are usually accused of reacting to crises rather than foreseeing and preventing them. We have an opportunity here to show that experts, scientists, lawyers, and governments can foresee potentially catastrophic dangers, and prevent them from happening.” This abstract demonstrates the philosophy, issues and objectives of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) adopted since the 1970s. Climate change has been described as “the most challenging environmental issue of our time,” and one cannot help but associate this abstract with the construction of, what is called today, the climate regime. Following the process launched at the Rio Conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in May 1992 and a protocol to the Convention followed in 1997: the Kyoto Protocol. Back in 1992, in “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDRs), “common” meant that there is a universal responsibility to act for the benefit of “present and future generations." Thus, common responsibilities embody both the notions of “common concern” and “common heritage of humankind,” two notions “as old as international environmental law itself.” In other words, environmental issues such as climate change have too much of a universal impact for the response to be “solely a matter of domestic jurisdiction.” The CBDR principle is only an expression of differential treatment. Other expressions of differentiation are used in the climate regime and could take precedence in the future. It is parties’ actual obligations that will matter to combat climate change. In order to do so, the climate regime must keep a balance between commitments and assistance. Indeed, although adaptation to climate change and assistance are truly important issues, one has to realize that the fight against climate degradation cannot be fought without commitments from stronger polluters to reduce their emissions. The notion of responsibility is central in CBDR but current contributions to climate change cannot be forgotten. COP22 which will be held in Marrakesh between the 7th and 18th of November 2016, will constitute a new opportunity for developed/developing countries to further debate and enhance the latter principle in the light of the commitments/assistance balance that must be maintained.

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The need to prevent the abuse of intellectual property rights by right holders or the resort to practices which unreasonably restrain trade or adversely affect the international transfer of technology are topical issues that affects international relations. It is crucial for developing countries to achieve a substantive degree of IPR protection, not only for the promotion of creativity and innovation, but also for the maximization of technology transfer from developed countries. gLAWcal examines IPR regimes and their impact on competition with the objective of providing a better understanding of the competition-dimension of IP rights. Intellectual property rights are also extremely crucial to sustainable development in manifold ways, from the protection of traditional knowledge and cultural products, to access to essential medicines. Our organization focuses on the policy frameworks and institutions shaping debate and policy development in this sector.
In the last fifteen years, all around the world there has been a tendency to put much hope in the rise of civil society, its emergence being welcomed as a sign of progress towards a more democratic system. Many places in the world are today laboratories for change thanks to bottom-up movements supported by civil society organizations. By looking at contentious politics and how they converge and interact with institutional politics, we can better understand what directions a country’s political system and its governance is taking. gLAWcal supports collective forms of actions aimed at the creation of better societies, on many social issues, and in various geographical areas.
Improvements in people’s economic wellbeing have increased citizen demands for a cleaner environment. As societies undergo the transition to industrial development and modernity, their citizens begin to concern themselves with needs and wants beyond the material, including the protection of the environment. However, growing levels of environmental consciousness and awareness are often not matched by proper environmental legislation enforcement at the local level. gLAWcal looks at environmental rights developments in developing countries, and aims at delivering policy advices and capacity building support in areas where law implementation is lacking. With this purpose, our organization seeks to improve environmental protection not only for the benefit of the populations directly affected, but also for the sake of the entire planet.
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