Researchers and the international community today are essentially in agreement: global warming cannot surpass an increase of two degrees Celsius if dangerous, irreversible and uncontrollable consequences for the environment and society are to be avoided. Protection measures taken by the international community are also pursuing this goal, and yet they leave out adequate mandates for the minimisation of green house gas emission.
However, international law is not powerless in this respect. Many far reaching climate protection mandates can be developed out of the customary law prohibition of transboundary environmental disturbances and from the area of human rights. To what extent these obligations can be effective in practice is yet to be known.
This essay by Volker Oschmann and Anke Rostankowski, published in issue 2/2010 of the Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht, first describes the background of international climate protection law, then illustrates the current rules and regulations concerning climate protection law, discusses to what extent legal climate protection mandates can be developed from the customary law prohibition of transboundary environmental impact and from universal human rights and closes with a short conclusion.
The article can be downloaded for free off the website of the Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht.