List of questions

4th session: Differentiation, 12 April

  1. 王月: Should states have different obligations in relation to climate change?
  2. What moral responsibilities do Western states have for their greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution?
  3. Should China be included within the Annex II of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change?
  4. Could Henry Shue’s distinction between subsistence emissions and luxury emissions (in the complementary documents) be relevant to international climate change law?
  5. In their article (in the complementary materials), Scott and Rajamani denounces the EU’s “climate change unilateralism.” Do you agree with them that the EU’s conduct in extending climate policies to international flights was blameworthy?

5th session: Climate change mitigation, 19 April

  1. 张淼: Why did the senate of the United States refuse to ratify the Kyoto Protocol?
  2. 张潇: Why do states ratify international climate change agreements and why do they take measures to mitigate climate change mitigation?
  3. How can states be encouraged to adopt ambitious mitigation commitments? Compare the approach of the Paris Agreement (art. 3) with the approach of the Kyoto Protocol (see in particular art. 2(1) and Annex B).
  4. What are the mechanisms in the Paris Agreement to fulfil their obligations?
  5. How to fill the “ambition gap” between global mitigation objectives (Paris Agreement art. 2.1(a)) and actual national policies?
  6. Climate change agreements often mention the concept of “compliance.” How does “compliance” differ from “enforcement,” and why did the drafters of climate change treaties preferred the former to the latter?

6th session: International cooperation on mitigation, 26 April

  1. Why was the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism created?
  2. According to Article 12.2 of the Kyoto Protocol, the purpose of the Clean Development Mechanism is (among others) to “assist [developing states] in achieving sustainable development.” What does this mean and why was it included?
  3. Has the Clean Development Mechanism actually supported sustainable development in developing states and emerging economies like China?
  4. 潘晨欣: What is the impact of the Clean Development Mechanism on the human rights of populations in developing states?
  5. Jeanette Schade and Wolfgang Overgassel (in the complementary materials) plead for the adoption of “mandatory human rights safeguards” in the climate change regime. Why have such measures not been adopted with regard to the Clean Development Mechanism?
  6. Human rights have been mentions in the Cancún Agreements (8th recital and para. 8) and in the Paris Agreement (recital 12). What could be the legal and political implications of these provisions?
  7. What could industrial states do to help China to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions?

7th session: Domestic implementation, 3 May

  1. Are emissions trading schemes an efficient way to mitigate climate change?
  2. Was the European Union’s emissions trading scheme a success?
  3. Should China implement a national carbon market?
  4. Why did the European Union establish an emissions trading scheme rather than a carbon tax? Does the same reason apply to China?
  5. Why does Robert Goodin (in the complementary documents) denounce the sale of “environmental indulgences”? Do you agree with him?
  6. Beside market- or price-based policies, what can China do to limit its domestic greenhouse gas emissions?

8th session: Adaptation, 10 May

  1. How do international adaptation projects differ from international development projects? Give concrete examples.
  2. Does international action on adaptation further the “ultimate objective” defined in article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change?
  3. Can international finance in support of adaptation to climate change be considered as a form of reparation in the international law of state responsibility?
  4. What does “transformative adaptation” mean?
  5. Which states should receive the greatest share of international funds in support of adaptation to climate change?
  6. How is finance in support of climate change distributed? Is it fair?

9th session: Geo-engineering, 17 May

  1. Should geo-engineering be considered as a tool to address climate change?
  2. Who should regulate geo-engineering?
  3. What particular legal issues does Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) raise, and how could these issues be addressed?
  4. 王凌波: How would the principle of precaution apply to geoengineering?

10th session: Responsibilities, 24 May

  1. Who is responsible for climate change: states or individuals?
  2. What are the prospects for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the obligations of states relating to climate change?
  3. Could the small island state of Tuvalu successfully seek the responsibility of industrial states for climate change damages before international courts and tribunals?
  4. What impacts could an advisory opinion or a decision of the International Court of Justice have on national mitigation policies?

11th session: Damages, 31 May

  1. Are there distinct individuals who could be called “climate change victims” or “climate change-induced migrants”? If yes, how to identify them?
  2. Is it possible to attribute particular adverse events (e.g. tornado, flood, drought) to climate change?
  3. How to reconcile the probabilistic event attribution framework proposed by Pardeep Pall and coauthors (in the complementary materials) with a legal attribution of responsibility?
  4. 吕威: How to articulate the primary responsibility of states to protect their populations (under human rights law, the responsibility to protect, etc.) and international cooperation to devise approaches to address the loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries?
  5. What could be the implications of current negotiations on “loss and damage” for the management of human mobility? (look in particular at para. 50 of the decision adopting the Paris Agreement)
  6. What are the implications of climate change for international security?
  7. What could be the role of the UN Security Council in addressing climate change?

12th session: Ways forward, 7 June

  1. What can we, as individuals, do against climate change?
  2. What can politicians do in Western democratic countries against climate change?
  3. What are the factors facilitating and hindering action against climate change by the Chinese government?
  4. What impacts does the climate regime have on the principle of state sovereignty?
  5. Is climate change more likely to bring peace or war among nations?
  6. Does climate change entail a risk of a collapse of global civilization?