Sea Tribunal Says Countries Must Prevent Greenhouse Gases From Harming Oceans

"The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea’s opinion said that greenhouse gasses are a form of marine pollution and laid out governments’ legal obligations to reduce that contamination and limit global warming."

"An international tribunal said on Tuesday that countries have binding legal obligations to prevent greenhouse gasses from harming the world’s oceans in a landmark opinion that experts say could strengthen climate-vulnerable countries’ efforts to hold major polluters accountable and drive action to fight climate change.

The advisory opinion, which was sought by an international organization called the Commission of Small Island States (COSIS), said that human caused greenhouse gas emissions are a form of marine pollution as defined by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and that governments must take “all necessary measures” aimed at staunching greenhouse gasses.

The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea said that its opinion does not require the immediate cessation of emissions largely related to burning fossil fuels, but, in stark language, listed a series of “stringent” legal obligations that governments must meet to “prevent, reduce and control” emissions and to “protect and preserve” oceans from climate change impacts.

Those obligations include adopting laws and regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions; preventing emissions under their jurisdiction or control from causing damage to other states; protecting fragile ecosystems and threatened species; cooperating with other governments and sharing scientific information; adopting measures aimed at controlling invasive species; and restoring degraded ecosystems."

Katie Surma reports for Inside Climate News May 21, 2024.


"UN Maritime Tribunal Says Countries Are Legally Required To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution" (AP)

Source: Inside Climate News, 05/22/2024