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Climate Law and Governance at King's

Climate Law and Governance Events

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Public lectures

We are delighted to host a series of public lectures that present emerging thinking in climate law and governance. These lectures are given by distinguished international experts in the field of climate change law and governance,  which harness and reflect interdisciplinary research and teaching interests. Click here to see our upcoming public lectures

The Armchair Sessions

These intimate, informal, discursive, and provocative sessions compliment the formal and public Climate Law and Governance Lecture Series. They are given by international and local distinguished experts on their experience of cutting-edge issues in the field. Click here for information about upcoming events.

The Reading Group

The Climate Law and Governance Reading Group is a student-led initiative that aims to provide a forum for reflective and critical interdisciplinary discussion on climate law and governance for climate specialists affiliated with King's. Through monthly readings and group discussions, participants are invited to engage with topics that lie beyond, but are related to, their areas of expertise. The aim of the reading group is to investigate legal and governance frameworks from various disciplinary perspectives and challenge participants’ assumptions and ideas in a constructive way. The group also serves as a networking platform for climate researchers affiliated with King’s, allowing potential collaborators meet and exchange ideas. Click here for information about upcoming reading group meetings.

The Dickson Poon School of Law Visiting Professors

We are delighted to host The Dickson Poon School of Law Visiting Professors in Climate Law and Governance who are world leading researchers in the field. These Visiting Professors deliver lectures in our Series, as well as contribute to Faculty seminars and events.


 

Previous events

30 November 2018

 

 

 

 

8 October 2018

 

 

 

 

 

29 June 2018

 

 

 

 

 

10-13 Apr 2018

Climate Law & Governance Armchair Session with Professor Randall S. Abate

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. 

TLI: Book launch - EU Climate Diplomacy: Politics, Law and Negotiations

The global response to the challenge of climate change, aided by rapid developments in clean technology but complicated by volatile global politics, has never been more urgent. The role of the European Union and its Member States in meeting this challenge is the subject of the recently published book "EU Climate Diplomacy: Politics, Law and Negotiations" (Routledge 2018).

The book includes contributions from the European Commission, Member State negotiators and scholars on the development and characteristics of EU climate diplomacy, with particular focus on climate technology and finance. It highlights the ongoing importance of EU engagement with multilateral climate change processes and international law, in particular following the United States' announced policy of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.

The book is the result of a collaboration between the Transnational Law Institute, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies and Fondation Jean-Jaurès, and is co-edited by Stephen Minas (Senior Research Fellow at the TLI and Assistant Professor at the School of Transnational Law, Peking University) and Vassilis Ntousas (International Relations Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies).

This book launch will feature discussion of the multifaceted, multi-directional nature of EU climate diplomacy and how the EU can promote ambitious climate action in a challenging international environment.

 

 

Climate Law & Governance PhD Students Contribute to KCL Brazil Institute Seminar

Brazil’s Environmental Law: Challenges and Global Exchanges

Laura Mai (Law) and Felicia Liu (Geography) will participate in the seminar ‘Brazil’s Environmental Law: Challenges and Global Exchanges’ which is hosted by the Brazil Institute at King’s College London. Reflecting on the development of Brazil’s environmental law in the context of global environmental governance, the seminar will showcase research on environmental law being carried out in Brazil and the UK, and promote networking opportunities for future collaboration between Brazilian and UK research institutions.

 

King’s Transnational Law Summit: The New Human Condition

The Summit brought together international and local luminaries to explore the challenges and possibilities of being consciously human in today’s deeply divided world.

In collaboration with the King’s Transnational Law Institute, the King’s Climate Law & Governance centre convened a series of high-profile Economic & Environmental Justice panels on 11 April 2018 to debate issues regarding climate-related finance, litigation, technology, migration, and environmental stewardship and participation. These panels investigated the prospects for a practical, political and pedagogical transformation of our response to environmental and economic crises such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

10 Apr 2018

Climate Law & Governance Armchair Sessions

Methods Lab with Prof Lavanya Rajamani:

Negotiating Multilateral Climate Agreements: Tools, Techniques and Approaches

The international climate change regime has been in evolution for nearly three decades. In this time states have negotiated three legally binding instruments - the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement - and countless decisions that have not only launched negotiations towards these instruments but also operationalised them. These instruments have been negotiated in the context of fundamental, long-standing and seemingly unresolvable disagreements between states; as such, parties have developed innovative tools and techniques to reach agreement. This Methods Lab explored the various tools, techniques and approaches used for the multilateral climate negotiations, focusing on the use of norms regarding legal bindingness and the relationship between the legal character of these norms and their functions. We particularly encouraged Masters and PhD students and Early Career Researchers from a range of relevant disciplines to attend.

Professor Lavanya Rajamani is the 2018 Dickson Poon Distinguished Visitor to the Law School Climate Law & Governance centre. She is Professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and an expert in the field of international environmental and climate change law. Her scholarship focuses on multilateral environmental treaty-making processes, differentiation, compliance, and the intersections of international environmental law with human rights. She has authored several books and articles in these areas. Her latest book, International Climate Change Law (OUP, 2017, co-authored with Daniel Bodansky and Jutta Brunnée) was awarded the ASIL Certificate of Merit in a Specialized Area of International Law. Prof Rajamani is scheduled to deliver a Public International Law course on the ‘International Climate Change Regime’ at the Hague Academy of International Law this summer. She served as Rapporteur of the ILA Committee on Legal Principles Relating to Climate Change (2008-2014) and has also served as a consultant to the UNFCCC Secretariat, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, and a legal adviser to the Chairs of Ad Hoc Working Groups under the FCCC. She was part of the UNFCCC core drafting and advisory team for the Paris Agreement. http://cprindia.org/people/lavanya-rajamani

9 Apr 2018

Climate Law & Governance Public Lecture Series

Negotiating the Paris Rulebook: Issues, Options and Challenges

The negotiations for the Paris Rulebook, intended to flesh out the 2015 Paris Agreement and make it operational, are scheduled to conclude in December 2018. Negotiators are developing guidance on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by states and elaborating a transparency framework in relation to their implementation, determining the conceptual architecture and mechanics of the ‘global stocktake’ process, and fleshing out a compliance and implementation mechanism. Yet many fundamental disagreements remain that need to be resolved in the coming months. One such issue is differentiation between developed and developing countries, which has been a long-standing site of conflict in the climate change negotiations. In Paris, states reached a delicately balanced compromise on this issue by side-stepping the Annex-based differentiation reflected in the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and tailoring differentiation to the specificities of each area of the Paris Agreement. The devil, however, lies in the details, and this finely balanced compromise is in jeopardy in the Paris Rulebook negotiations. This public lecture canvased the key issues and options relating to the Paris Rulebook negotiations, with a focus on the challenging cross-cutting issue of differentiation.

Professor Lavanya Rajamani is the 2018 Dickson Poon Distinguished Visitor to the Law School Climate Law & Governance centre. She is Professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and an expert in the field of international environmental and climate change law. Her scholarship focuses on multilateral environmental treaty-making processes, differentiation, compliance, and the intersections of international environmental law with human rights. She has authored several books and articles in these areas. Her latest book, International Climate Change Law (OUP, 2017, co-authored with Daniel Bodansky and Jutta Brunnée) was awarded the ASIL Certificate of Merit in a Specialized Area of International Law. Prof Rajamani is scheduled to deliver a Public International Law course on the ‘International Climate Change Regime’ at the Hague Academy of International Law this summer. She served as Rapporteur of the ILA Committee on Legal Principles Relating to Climate Change (2008-2014) and has also served as a consultant to the UNFCCC Secretariat, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, and a legal adviser to the Chairs of Ad Hoc Working Groups under the FCCC. She was part of the UNFCCC core drafting and advisory team for the Paris Agreement. http://cprindia.org/people/lavanya-rajamani


20 Mar 2018

 

Climate Law and Governance Reading Group – The Role of States in Global Climate Governance

The Climate Law and Governance Reading Group is a student-led initiative that aims to provide a forum for reflective and critical interdisciplinary discussion on climate law and governance for climate specialists affiliated with King's. Through monthly readings and group discussions, participants are invited to engage with topics that lie beyond, but are related to, their areas of expertise. The aim of the reading group is to investigate legal and governance frameworks from various disciplinary perspectives and challenge participants’ assumptions and ideas in a constructive way. The group also serves as a networking platform for climate researchers affiliated with King’s, allowing potential collaborators meet and exchange ideas.

Readings

  • Elizabeth Fisher, Eloise Scotford and Emily Barritt, “The Legally Disruptive Nature of Climate Change” (2017) 80 Modern Law Review 173 (available: here)
  • Will Frank, “The Huaraz Case – German court opens recourse to climate law suit against big CO2-emitter” (Columbia Law School Sabin Centre For Climate Change Law Blog Post, 7 December 2017) (available: here)

 

 9 Mar 2018

 

Climate Finance Law: Legal Readiness for Climate Finance

Climate change mitigation and adaptation will require increased flows of private capital and more effective leveraging of public capital especially to and within developing nations. What role does domestic law and regulation play in enabling public-private climate finance? How can law-makers and regulators support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement? To date, policy-makers and practitioners have largely focused on project transactions and climate aid. While these are valuable, truly systemic change will require an integrated framework of domestic law and regulation that is ‘fit for purpose’ to de-risk, unlock, mobilise, leverage and mainstream public-private climate finance in-country. This level of change presents a new challenge for many law-makers around the world. Yet learning from the experiences of early-movers can equip all participants to help other countries initiate their own legal and regulatory reforms so we can build critical mass for a truly global transformation.

This was a public event ahead of a closed workshop focusing on Global South-South exchange and capacity building for ‘legal readiness’ for climate finance. It was supported by a King’s Together Grant comprising an all-female leadership team from across Law (with Dr Megan Bowman and Dr Katrien Steenmans), Geography (with Dr Helen Adams), and King’s Business School (with Prof Juliane Reinecke).

Speakers:

  • Keynote: Mr Leonardo Beltrán, Deputy Secretary of Planning and Energy Transition, Ministry of Energy, Mexico
  • Mr. Perumal Arumugam, Programme Officer, Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat
  • Mr Steven Malby, Head of the Commonwealth Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform within Governance and Peace Directorate, Commonwealth Secretariat

 9 Mar 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Dec 2017

Climate Law and Governance Reading Group – The Role of States in Global Climate Governance

The Climate Law and Governance Reading Group is a student-led initiative that aims to provide a forum for reflective and critical interdisciplinary discussion on climate law and governance for climate specialists affiliated with King's. Through monthly readings and group discussions, participants are invited to engage with topics that lie beyond, but are related to, their areas of expertise. The aim of the reading group is to investigate legal and governance frameworks from various disciplinary perspectives and challenge participants’ assumptions and ideas in a constructive way. The group also serves as a networking platform for climate researchers affiliated with King’s, allowing potential collaborators meet and exchange ideas.

Readings

  • Daniel Bodansky, “The Paris Agreement: A New Hope?” (2016) 110 American Journal of International Law 288 (available: here)
  • Bradley C. Karkkainen, “Post-Sovereign Environmental Governance” (2004) 4 Global Environmental Politics (pages 72-81 only) (available: here)

 

King’s Climate and Energy Network Launch: 'speed networking' event

This event launched the new Climate and Energy Network which aims to facilitate interdisciplinary research exchange across the College.

5 Dec 2017

Climate Law & Finance Reading Group

For details of 2018 meetings please email the reading group convenors: laura.mai@kcl.ac.uk and felicia.liu@kcl.ac.uk.

1 Dec 2017

CLG Armchair Session: In discussion with Professor Benjamin J. Richardson on Can ‘beauty’ save the environment? An exploration of the aesthetic dimensions of environmental law

Speaker: Professor Benjamin J. Richardson, University of Tasmania

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This seminar examined how aesthetic values influence human environmental behavior and how the law can and should facilitate aesthetic values. While science and economics supply a variety of ''objective" reasons to conserve nature, such as revealing its biodiversity values or economic benefits, these disciplines do poorly in emotionally engaging people with their environs. But although aesthetic values might fill this void, they have their own complications for law-makers including the difficulty of finding common aesthetic criteria to underpin legal decisions. Furthermore, because access to natural environments is limited for many people, its aesthetic values may be accessible mainly indirectly and vicariously through the arts whose preferred imagery and narratives resonate primarily with specific socio-economic groups (eg, the well educated, affluent and urban). Answers to these and other challenges were considered in this seminar's exploration of a new direction for environmental law.

Based in Tasmania, one of the world’s most fascinating places in the recent history of legal and political struggles over the natural environment, Benjamin J. Richardson is a Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Tasmania, as well, in 2017, the Global Law Visiting Chair at Tilburg University.  He has devoted his international career to pioneering a more ambitious conversation about the philosophical and theoretical dimensions of environmental law, with a particular focus on time, aesthetics and ethics in environmental governance. Through this framework, he has researched many issues including Indigenous peoples and environmental management, ethical investing, corporate social responsibility, time in social and ecological systems, and most recently the role of aesthetics and the arts in environmental behaviour and law.

28 Nov 2017

Thought Salon on Environmental Aesthetics: Beauty & Decision-making

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Can aesthetics provide humankind with a universal language or lingua franca to transcend and overcome the parochialism and insularity that stymies cooperation on national and global environmental problems? What is its role and potential as a modality of cultural and regulatory change? In evaluating how aesthetics informs environmental decision-making, from community activism to national regulations, this workshop invited participants to consider several themes about the challenges and obstacles to an aesthetics-driven legal and regulatory approach. Through interdisciplinary exchanges between practicing artists and international academics from diverse disciplines such as law, philosophy, media, arts, political science, and geography, this workshop aimed to expand our understanding of the roles and efficacy of aesthetic values and judgements in developing legal criteria for environmental decision making.

22 Nov 2017

TLI Methods Lab: Transnational environmental regimes and the limits of deliberative democracy

With Professor Jaye Ellis, McGill University Faculty of Law

Transnational regulatory regimes, particularly non-state or hybrid regimes, must build their authority from the ground up, not being able to rely on the legitimating effect of a constitution that bestows authority to make and implement laws in the name and on behalf of a particular polis. Much of the literature on legitimation focuses on democratic processes, often taking a deliberative approach. Yet deliberation towards consensus as a means of grounding the authority of transnational regimes runs into several problems. This is particularly true of environmental regimes, as, in addition to the usual problems created by the nebulous, open-ended nature of the groups of actors who are or could be considered stakeholders, such regimes depend heavily on sophisticated and often inaccessible scientific information. Furthermore, social acceleration, accelerated rates of ecosystemic change, complexity, and uncertainly create a need for highly flexible regulatory approaches capable of rapid learning and adaptation. This TLI Methods Lab posed critical questions about the benefits of deliberative democratic approaches to the legitimation of transnational environmental regimes. In particular, it examined the focus of deliberative approaches to legitimation on the moment of jurisgenesis. Of potentially greater importance are other moments, notably the development of policy-relevant scientific understanding of ecosystem effects (that is, well before the adoption of legal norms) and the consequences, both intended and unintended, of the implementation of legal norms.

Jaye Ellis is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and School of Environment, McGill University. She teaches public international law, international environmental law, and environmental epistemology and ethics. Current research projects focus on transnational law, intersections between law and science, rule of law in transnational and international spheres, and risk and uncertainty in public and private law. Recent publications include “Form meets Function: The Culture of Formalism and International Environmental Regimes,” Wouter Werner, Marieke de Hoon & Alexis Galán (eds), The Law of International Lawyers. Reading Martti Koskenniemi. (Cambridge University Press, 2017); “Political Economy and Environmental Law: A Cost-Benefit Analysis” in Ugo Mattei and John D. Haskell, eds, Research Handbook on Political Economy and Law (2015) 496-516; and “Stateless Law: From Legitimacy to Validity” in Helge Dedek and Shauna Van Praagh, eds, Stateless Law: Evolving Boundaries of a Discipline (2015) 133-142.

19 June 2017

COP@King's Paris Agreement masterclass 

Read the news report from this event.

 

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13 June 2017

Public Lecture: The Paris Agreement 2015 and its implications for Law & Governance

With Visiting Professor Dan Bodansky, Arizona State University (ASU). Further details here.

 

 

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Dr Megan Bowman with Professors Dan Bodansky and David Caron.

23 March 2017

The Armchair Sessions: In conversation with US Senator Jon Kyl on Sustainable Water Use and US Public Policy

Speaker: Senator Jon Kyl, Senior Of Counsel at Covington and Burling, LLP

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Senator Jon Kyl (top) speaking at the Armchair Sessions in March

3 February 2017 

The Armchair Sessions: Divesting from Climate Change: The Road to Influence?

Speaker: Professor Ben Richardson, University of Tasmania

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Professor Ben Richardson (top left) speaking at the Armchair Sessions in February

1 February 2017 

Public Lecture: Time and Environmental Law in a Changing Climate

Speakers:

  • Visting Professor Ben Richardson, University of Tasmania
  • Mr Cormac Cullinan, Director, Cullinan & Associates Inc 

Read news report from this event

 

 

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