Bedrohte Inselstaaten hoffen auf neues Klimaschutz-Gutachten
Island nations such as the Bahamas, Tuvalu, and the South Pacific Vanuatu are significantly impacted by the consequences of climate change. Despite contributing relatively little to global warming, their territories are at risk from rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, and the destruction of marine ecosystems.
Therefore, a group of states has requested the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg to provide an opinion. The legal experts, led by Judge Albert Hoffmann, are expected to comment on the climate protection obligations that arise from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for its member states.
Es geht beispielsweise um die Frage, ob Treibhausgasemissionen, die von Meeren aufgenommen werden, als Verschmutzung gelten. Schließlich sind Ozeane mit die größten Kohlenstoffsenken der Erde, da sie erhebliche Mengen des klimaschädlichen Kohlendioxids absorbieren.
Since the World Climate Conference in Glasgow 2021, the international community has organized the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (Cosis), which consists of nine nations. In Hamburg, on Monday and Tuesday, there will be hearings involving the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, and the Chief of Government of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano. Many countries now support the Cosis initiative, leading to additional hearings until September 25, including participation from German representatives. The report is expected to be released several months later.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea also addresses issues related to the protection and preservation of the marine environment or marine research. In case of disputes, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has jurisdiction. According to a spokesperson, although legal opinions are not legally binding, their recommendations can have a significant impact.
Vanuatu, which has recently been hit by hurricanes, has sought a consultation from the International Court of Justice in The Hague in its fight against the climate crisis. In March, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution supporting this action. However, the consultation from The Hague does not hold any legally binding significance and cannot legally obligate states to reduce their emissions. Nonetheless, it could serve as a significant document that may influence future climate negotiations.