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This report provides a summary of the briefs and statements submitted to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in response to the Co-Chairs of Commission of Small Island States (COSIS)’ request for an advisory opinion on climate change-related legal questions. The central issue before the ITLOS is whether State Parties to UNCLOS have specific obligations regarding the prevention, reduction, and control of marine environmental pollution stemming from climate change, as well as the protection and preservation of the marine environment concerning climate change impacts. While States and civil society organizations have put forward a variety of arguments in their briefs and statements, they mostly relate to three pivotal aspects of international maritime law: (i) ITLOS’ jurisdiction and ability to issue an advisory opinion on climate change, (ii) the definition of marine pollution under UNCLOS, and (iii) the responsibilities of States in the context of climate change under the UNCLOS.

Authors: Ahmed Mohammed Abdelsalam, Sabah Ahmed, Maria Jose Alarcon, Irene Antonopoulos, Jorge Alejandro Carrillo Bañuelos, Valeria Berros, Juan Sebastián Castellanos, Asteropi Chatzinikola-Iliopoulos, Moumita Das Gupta, Antoine De Spiegeleir, Fernand Guevara Mekongo Mballa, Millie John-Pierre, Isabella Kiechle, Jan-Baptist Lemaire, Sol Meckievi, Milagros Mutsios-Ramsay, Yumeno Grace Nishikawa, Natalia Urzola, Ademola Oluborode Jegede, Zunaida Moosa Wadiwala


Environmental Law | International Law | Law | Litigation