From the universal scale to the Normandy Region: ensuring the promotion of Peace with the Earth
Climate Justice, peace and security in the 21st century and the WYCJ campaign.
We are honored to have the Hon. Odo Tevi, Ambassador of Vanuatu to the United Nations, address our student-participants on the final day of the summer school. He shared with the participants the importance of an Advisory Opinion in formulating and advancing international law.
He stressed the importance of addressing the problem imposed by climate change not only to the entire world but specifically for vulnerable nations, like Vanuatu.He summoned the participants to be ambassadors of these vulnerable states, and be their voices.
The Normandy Chair for Peace recognizes the importance of these discussions. It is important for our young generation to hear from leaders and ambassadors in order to understand their positions and perspectives on how they see the world in relation to how they make decisions.
Our future and our children’s future, belong in the hands of our younger generation. As Atty. Tony Oposa, Chair of the NCP, shared, « The youth should be engaged to tackle the issue, because it is their future and the rights of future generations. »
The many faces of climate litigation in international and national law
Dr. Ivano Alogna, spoke with our NCP laureates to discuss the many faces of climate litigation.
He shared a database of cases related to climate change in which about 2/3 are in the US. He expresses how climate change litigation is a tool that lawyers use to advance climate justice and policy.
He shared comparative cases including: Leghari v. Federation of Pakistan (showed the power of climate change litigation to influence the government); Urgenda Foundation v. Netherlands (SC Netherlands agreed that the govt violated Art 2 and 8 of the European Commission of Human Rights, and created a ripple effect); Juliana v. United States – Our Children’s Trust (intergenerational equity case – public trust doctrine in the US constitution); Milieudefensie et al v Royal Dutch Shell–first decision against a major corporation, how climate litigation influenced the proper interpretation and regulation of a company’s due diligence and how it ties to national tort law.
Climate justice is a necessary discussion in promoting environmental consciousness and climate litigation requires the cooperation of stakeholders (corporations) and legal agents to deliver an effective response.
From I am Climate Justice to World’s Youth for Climate Justice
What the youth want is for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to clarify whether or not the States have obligations under international law to protect the rights of future and current generations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Nicole Ponce, Jule Schnakenberg and Himmat Bakshi, steering committee members of the World’s Youth for Climate Justice (WYCJ), emphasized the importance of obtaining an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ.
WYCJ’s campaign focuses on how human rights can and must play a part in addressing climate change.
We recognize the ICJ being the right international forum that hear evidence of law and fact that will help deliver a verdict that could assist in paving the way for the development of law that can help among many other things, advance the development of law, unblock jurisprudential roadblocks, remove room for real doubt on climate science and form public consciousness on climate change. Although not a panacea nor a replacement for ongoing negotiations, we believe the ICJAO is a well-justified catalyst for more ambitious climate action.
At present, there is no general international law instrument which defines the core elements of intergenerational equity and its legal status is still very controversial, — the status quo is quite problematic because there has been evidence (and quite overwhelming) of the application of the principle in international and domestic proceedings.
As we are racing against time to prevent climate change from exceeding global tipping points, there must be no room for ambiguity on State obligations. Marginalized communities who are suffering disproportionately from the impacts of climate change must be ensured that their human rights are not discounted, with wealthier nations upholding their commitments to developing countries especially in accordance with their obligation to the Paris Agreement.
Of equal importance is the need to clarify and cement the status of inter-generational equity as customary international law where the ICJ is the best forum to do so.
Muhammad Shahzad – Government College University Lahore, Pakistan
“It was a great opportunity to listen to world renowned activists, conservationists and environmental lawyers. The session was engaging, energizing and inspirational. Improved my understanding regarding climate change litigation. I came to know many new climate change litigation databases ”
Rocío Catalán Escalona – San Sebastián University – Chile
“This was one of my favorite days because it’s too important to know how we can be part of the change in the environmental conscience of our countries, and how we can help as individuals for this important and global cause. Hearing Nicole it feels that all can be part of the changes!”