Current Development

Integrating Climate Change into Global Ocean Governance: The ITLOS Advisory Opinion on the Specific Obligations of State Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Yuncheng Deng 1, Haiwen Zhang 2, Arti Pratap 3, Bradlee Failou 4, Ahmed Hussain 5 and Hertria Maharani Putri 6,*

1 Island Research Center, Ministry of Natural Resources, Pingtan 350400, China
2 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 519082, China
3 School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences, The University of the South Pacific, Suva 1168, Fiji
4 Environment and Climate Change, East Sepik Provincial Administration, Wewak 531, Papua New Guinea
5 Maldives Meteorological Service, Hulhule’ 22000, Maldives
6 Research Center for Behavioral and Circular Economics, Research Organization for Governance Economy and Community Welfare, National Research and Innovation Agency, 12790 Jakarta, Indonesia

Correspondence: hertria.maharani@gmail.com

Abstract: Climate change is having a significant impact on small island states and the adaptation to climate change is likely to become increasingly critical as the phenomenon intensifies. Despite growing attention to the effects of climate change on small island states, substantive progress remains limited. In order to obtain more multi-dimensional solutions for the climate crisis, the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law submitted a request for an Advisory Opinion from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on 12 December 2022. After going through written proceedings, oral proceedings, etc., the tribunal delivered a unanimous Advisory Opinion in this Case on 21 May 2024. The replies to two questions may mark the beginning of a new era for incorporating climate change into global ocean governance.

Keywords: climate change; small island states; Advisory Opinion; ITLOS; UNCLOS; ocean governance; international law


https://doi.org/10.59711/jims.11.110011

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