9 May 2023

Focus on: International Law and Policy Options for Climate Mitigation – 2023 Summer Academy

In course 8 of our Summer Academy, Nicolas Lockhart and Dominic Coppens will guide you through the legal framework of climate mitigation and its policy options: carbon pricing, subsidies, standards. Are you ready to update your legal and policy knowledge for THE challenge of this century?

There is broad consensus on the urgent need to pursue climate mitigation but not on the ways to do so. This course will guide participants through the international law framework governing climate mitigation, and then explore the climate mitigation policies that public and private actors can pursue consistently with the framework.

This course is for anyone interested in the law and policy of climate change – policymakers, academics, NGOs, and lawyers working on sustainability issues.   

In Part I, we will present the international law framework governing climate mitigation.

Against the background of the principles of international environmental law, we will discuss the main international treaties addressing climate change (UNFCCC, Paris Agreement), as well as other relevant parts of international law (e.g., general public international law, trade law, human rights, and the law of the sea).  

In Part II, the focus will shift to policy options for climate mitigation, covering both the regulatory and litigation angles.

We will explore the merits of the different policy options and assess them against the international law framework developed in Part I, including international trade law.    

We will  discuss the following policy options:

  • carbon pricing (e.g., ETS, carbon taxes, and carbon offsets), with case studies on carbon border adjustments (CBAM) and the sector-specific international aviation agreement on carbon offsetting and reduction (CORSIA);
  • subsidies, with case studies on the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), EU Green Deal Industrial Plan, and proposals to regulate fossil fuel subsidies; and
  • standards for products, processes, and reporting, with case studies on the EU’s proposed regulations on batteries, deforestation, and corporate sustainability reporting and due diligence.  

Finally, we will examine emerging trends in the creative use of national and international adjudication to push climate mitigation. We will address ongoing initiatives in international law to seek advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice (IJC) and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), as well as domestic ‘greenwashing’ litigation and domestic litigation leveraging international law. 

Lecturers: Nicolas Lockhart and Dominic Coppens
Dates: 17-21 July 2023

Download the full syllabus here