Last Thursday some of our GEP students had the pleasure of attending the Fourth Al-Moumin Award and Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding at the Environmental Law Institute, sponsored by both American University and the United Nations Environment Program. This year’s award was given to Ambassador Marie G. Jacobsson, Special Rapporteur for the United Nations International Law Commission and Principle Legal Advisor on International Law for the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Jacobsson has worked for three years with the International Law Commission on the topic Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict, and shared with the audience some of the takeaways from her most recent report, including the importance of addressing environmental harm that results from armed conflict, the limitations of modern international law on the issue, and the overlap with human rights and refugee law. AU Professor Ken Conca provided commentary, discussing the positive aspects of international law leading to the diffusion of the best practices and leading through standardization. The Al-Moumin award acknowledges leaders in the field of environmental peacebuilding, and Ambassador Jacobsson is well deserving of the recognition.
This post was written by Dr. Wil Burns. Dr. Burns is Scholar in Residence at the Global Environmental Politics (GEP) program and Co-Executive Director of the Washington Geoengineering Consortium, an initiative of the GEP program. This post originally appeared on another blog of the GEP program, Teaching Climate/Energy Law & Policy.
For instructors who include a section in their courses on loss and damage negotiations at UNFCCC COPs, an excellent reading would be a 2013 article by Detlef Sprinz and Steffen Bünau in the journal Weather, Climate, and Society (the piece is available open access on one of the author’s website). In the piece, the authors outline the potential architecture for an international Climate Compensation Fund. What’s particularly noteworthy (and admirable) is that the article includes an extensive discussion of how to make this approach politically viable.