Archive for July, 2011

UN Security Council Misses Critical Opportunity to Take Action on Climate Change

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Alyssa Johl, Project Attorney

Hana Heineken, Law Fellow

By Alyssa Johl and Hana Heineken

At the end of Wednesday’s Security Council open debate on the security implications of climate change, Council members reached consensus on a Presidential Statement recognizing the link between security and climate change  (see our July 19 blog for background on this issue).  While this statement fails to call for any specific actions to be taken by the Council, it is notable for several reasons.  It recognizes the relationship between climate and security, particularly with respect to sea level rise, identifies that climate change may be a “threat multiplier”, and stresses the need for international cooperation to address climate change, including its security impacts. Read more…


UN Security Council Debates the Security Implications of Climate Change

July 19, 2011 1 comment

Erica Woodruff, CIEL Intern

By Erica Woodruff

Tomorrow, the UN Security Council will host an open debate on the international peace and security implications of climate change. CIEL’s Hana Heineken will be attending and tweeting live from the debate (follow Hana’s updates @ciel_tweets).

While most people think of global warming as an environmental issue, the climate crisis is expected to have far-reaching impacts on peace and security, especially in developing countries that do not have the capacity to adapt. Rising sea levels, increasing storm surges and other climate impacts will contribute to economic destabilization, social unrest, resource competition, and migration flows that are root causes of conflict both within and among nations (for this reason, climate change has been labeled a “threat multiplier” in a 2007 report written by senior U.S. military leaders).

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Multilateral Environmental Agreements and You

July 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Mary Tharin, CIEL Intern

By Mary Tharin

BASEL, CITES, CBD, CMS? Remembering the acronyms of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) is challenging enough, much less trying to recall their technical details. Thankfully, the MEA Information and Knowledge Management Initiative, facilitated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), just launched a user-friendly information portal called InforMEA to help navigate the complex landscape of international environmental law. CIEL’s attorneys and interns helped to assemble, analyze and index international environmental treaties and decisions for this Initiative.

The website presents major MEAs and protocols in three over-arching categories: 1) biological diversity, 2) chemicals and waste management, and 3) climate, atmosphere and deserts. With a few easy clicks you can access the full text of each agreement, a list of parties, national focal points, and subsequent decisions. The site also features a useful chart listing every country to ever sign an MEA, along with their date of ratification. It’s interesting to note how some countries (like the United States) compare with the rest of the world.

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