• International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Makes First Climate-Related Judgement

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In its first climate-related judgement, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has found that greenhouse gases constitute marine pollution. The ruling, which was sought by the ambassador of the Bahamas to the European Union and eight other island nations, is an “advisory opinion”. Nevertheless, it has been called a “major breakthrough” for countries threatened by rising sea levels due to global warming, and is expected to set a precedent for related cases.

In the opinion of the court, states are legally obliged to monitor and reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change. In addition to stipulating the requirements for national impact assessments, the court also advised that targets for cutting greenhouse emissions should be set objectively based on the best available science and relevant international rules and standards.

In so doing, it raised the bar set by the Paris Agreement.