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The Conundrum for International Law of Rising Sea Levels
About the lecture:

Global sea level has been rising over the past century and, in recent decades, the rate has been increasing, largely due to thermal expansion of the oceans and increased melting of land-based ice. The future effects of such rise are likely to be numerous: coastal erosion and inundation, with collateral effects on maritime zones; loss of coastal habitats, property, agriculture, and cultural resources, leading to “climate migration”; increased risk of flooding, with effects on soil and water quality, tourist, recreation and transportation; and the potential loss of statehood for small island states. Such changes pose a conundrum for international law, which is oriented toward relatively stable territorial entities as a precondition for the operation of a system of inter-state rules. When identifying solutions, the challenge for international lawyers lies in determining which existing rules are already sufficient for coping with such change, which new rules must be adopted, and whether some existing rules might be shaped through less formal means.

Jan 17, 2022 06:00 PM in London

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