Future of Climate Change Negotiations Project on Ethics, Regulation and Global Policy

The Future of Climate Change Negotiations Project on Ethics, Regulation and Global Policy supported and funded four law students who worked with two faculty members on an interdisciplinary project regarding the global climate change negotiations. The law students – Daniel Crane, a May 2013 graduate, 3Ls Evan Singleton and Michael O’Boyle, and Ashley Votruba, a student in the J.D./Ph.D. Social Psychology program -  prepared a report on an international regulatory process that is relevant to the international climate change negotiations which was used as inputs to an expert process organized by the UN Climate Change Secretariat. In addition, they presented their research on international legal regimes at a global climate change negotiation organized under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on June 3-14, in Bonn, Germany.

The context for this project is the adoption of the Durban Platform by the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which launched a new round of negotiations to develop a legal instrument to address climate change from 2020 on. The negotiations began earlier this year and are scheduled to finish in 2015. The group approached their task from the assumption that, as a new round of negotiations begins with a wrap-up date of 2015, parties might be able to learn something from other international treaty systems. In consultation with the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, they chose the European human rights system, the treaty systems that protect wetlands and prevent desertification, agreements to harmonize international trade law and international intellectual property law.

For the students, the project was a combination of learning the background of climate change law and policy, brainstorming international treaty systems that might be appropriate, developing subject topics, performing research, writing white papers and, soon, presenting their findings

The project was led by Dan Bodansky, Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics, and Sustainability, in partnership with Daniel Rothenberg, Professor of Practice and Lincoln Fellow for Ethics and International Human Rights Law.

To read a personal account of their experience, see lincolnasu.wordpress.com.