State Responsibility in relation to Transboundary Environmental Damage

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Author: Per Malm; [2008]

Keywords: Folkrätt; Law and Political Science;

Abstract: With the effects of global warming spiraling out of control States are rapidly recognizing the urgent need for behavioral change. The reactions of the planet to centuries of toxic emissions have to be battled collectively as soon as possible. Some States, especially developing States, are feeling the effects more tangibly and for them time is running out. Some scientific scholars already claim that time has run out and that we cannot alter the effects, but have to accept them and find solutions. This thesis will examine what legal options Small Island States have in general, and as a specific example the State of Tuvalu is being studied. How should these States proceed legally, and which would be the most advantageous way? The choice of Tuvalu was obvious as an example, as they in the past have threatened to instigate procedures against the United States of America for the effects they suffer from global warming. The Tuvaluan threat to instigate procedures against the United States, seems logical at least from the moral aspect. The United States is one of the largest emitters in the world and yet it refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This work also investigates the possibilities a State may have to use human rights as a litigation tool, but also the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It should not be seen as a helpful tool for States but rather as an investigation of where international law stands today.

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