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The Applicability of the Principle of Prevention to Climate Change: A Response to Zahar

The Applicability of the Principle of Prevention to Climate Change: A Response to Zahar This is a response to Alexander Zahar’s article in the previous issue of Climate Law . Zahar argued that ‘the principle of prevention is neither applicable nor of relevance to the problem of climate change.’ 1 Firstly, I discuss Zahar’s scepticism toward state responsibility in the context of climate change. Secondly, I engage critically with Zahar’s claim that the preventive principle only applies to the type of environmental damage that occurs in a short timeframe and in a confined space. I show that some sources of international law do recognize the applicability of the preventive principle to damage to the global environment. Lastly, I dissent with Zahar’s qualification of the climate regime as a derogation to the principle of prevention. I argue that the principle of prevention is a necessary corollary of the rights of states to territorial integrity, although the modalities of application of the principle need to be refined. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Climate Law Brill

The Applicability of the Principle of Prevention to Climate Change: A Response to Zahar

Climate Law , Volume 5 (1): 1 – Aug 26, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Debate
ISSN
1878-6553
eISSN
1878-6561
DOI
10.1163/18786561-00501001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This is a response to Alexander Zahar’s article in the previous issue of Climate Law . Zahar argued that ‘the principle of prevention is neither applicable nor of relevance to the problem of climate change.’ 1 Firstly, I discuss Zahar’s scepticism toward state responsibility in the context of climate change. Secondly, I engage critically with Zahar’s claim that the preventive principle only applies to the type of environmental damage that occurs in a short timeframe and in a confined space. I show that some sources of international law do recognize the applicability of the preventive principle to damage to the global environment. Lastly, I dissent with Zahar’s qualification of the climate regime as a derogation to the principle of prevention. I argue that the principle of prevention is a necessary corollary of the rights of states to territorial integrity, although the modalities of application of the principle need to be refined.

Journal

Climate LawBrill

Published: Aug 26, 2015

Keywords: principle of prevention; climate change; International Law Association

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