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International ocean tribunal delivers ‘historic legal victory’ for small island nations

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled that carbon emissions qualify as marine pollution
• Countries are now legally obligated to mitigate the effects of these emissions on oceans

🔭 The context: The ruling was prompted by a request from the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (COSIS), representing nations at risk from rising sea levels 
• ITLOS clarified that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are a form of marine pollution under international law
• This decision underscores existing obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Recognizing carbon emissions as marine pollution reinforces the necessity for countries to take concrete actions to reduce their environmental impact
• This ruling is crucial for small island nations that face severe climate threats despite contributing minimally to global emissions

⏭️ What's next: The ITLOS opinion is expected to influence future legal interpretations and international climate negotiations, particularly at COP29
• Further advisory opinions from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice are anticipated, which may reinforce or expand upon ITLOS’s findings

💬 One quote: “States also have the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment from climate change impacts and ocean acidification,” Judge Albert Hoffman said as he delivered the Tribunal’s advisory opinion in Hamburg on Tuesday

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental rights


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