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Future generations, wildlife, and natural resources – collectively referred to as “the voiceless” – are the most vulnerable and least equipped populations to protect themselves from the impacts of global climate change. Domestic and international law protections are beginning to recognize rights and responsibilities that apply to the voiceless community. However, these legal developments have yet to be pursued in a collective manner and have not been considered together in the context of climate change and climate justice. Professor Abate's presentation will identify the common vulnerabilities of the voiceless in the Anthropocene era and address how the law can evolve to protect their interests more effectively through a stewardship-focused and rights-based system.
Randall S. Abate is the inaugural Rechnitz Family Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy and a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at Monmouth University. His research focuses on environmental and animal law topics, with a recent emphasis on climate change law and justice.Professor Abate has taught international and comparative law courses—and delivered lecture series—on environmental and animal law topics in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Vanuatu. In April 2014, he taught a Climate Change Law and Justice course at the National Law Academy in Odessa, Ukraine on a Fulbright Specialist grant. Professor Abate has delivered invited lectures on climate justice and animal law topics at several of the top law schools in the world, including Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, and Seoul National University.