Coping with climate change will be one of the most significant challenges the global community will face in the coming years. Both adaptation to and mitigation of climate change is likely to be enormously expensive, and decisions will need to be made about how costs should be distributed. The international community will also need to determine whether potentially dangerous climate-modification programs are viable environmental stabilization strategies.
Presently, no international tribunal has jurisdiction to adjudicate these and other issues related to climate change. As such, decisions are being made (or not made) on the basis of political criteria, with little regard for underlying legal principles. The ability of states to utilize Referral Jurisdiction to bring matters relevant to global warming before the International Court of Justice would ensure that law and justice would play a much more prominent role in the future of climate change decision-making.
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