Climate Change and International Environmental Law: Musings on a Journey to Somewhere

Climate Change and International Environmental Law: Musings on a Journey to Somewhere

By Duncan French and Lavanya Rajamani
Journal of Environmental Law, 24 September 2013

Abstract: This article considers how far the climate change regime is an exemplar of international environmental law as well as public international law. We focus on five issues: the nature and extent of differentiation in favour of developing countries, the role of soft law, the dynamics of decision-making in multilateral negotiations, the contribution of dispute settlement, and the impact of (and assumptions underlying) scholarly offerings in this field. This article argues that the climate regime has both benefited from normative developments elsewhere as well as contributed to such developments (for instance, as regards the use and absorption of soft law within the regime). The article concludes with a reflection on legal scholarship and climate change and seeks to externalise the challenges, demands, choices and values of those who contribute to the discussion, to recognise the benefit of diversity.