Editorial Staff
5 months ago

Editorial Staff
5 months ago

Small Island States Await ITLOS Ruling on Carbon Emissions as Historic Hearing Concludes

By Aabigale McIntosh

 

Last week, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) heard the case presented by the Commission of Small Island Developing States on Climate Change (COSIS).

Prime Minister Gaston Browne is optimistic that the outcome will be in favor of Small Island Developing States.

The case sought a decision on whether Carbon Dioxide absorption by the oceans could be considered pollution and, if so, what responsibilities nations have in preventing it.

“Our Attorneys, in my mind, made compelling arguments backed up by the Scientist who also presented and what we have observed is that the large oil-producing countries they are now trying to filibuster, for example, indicating they need more time and to consult, we need to have another hearing, just trying to buy time.

Last week, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) heard a significant case presented by the Commission of Small Island Developing States on Climate Change (COSIS).

The Prime Minister remains hopeful that the tribunal will favor Small Island Developing States. COSIS is seeking a decision from the tribunal on whether Carbon Dioxide absorption by the oceans can be considered pollution and, if so, what responsibilities nations must assume in preventing it.

“At this point, we have not taken any direct litigation against any state but if at the stage in which we have this legal pathway to complement the diplomatic efforts then we have to look at other avenues which would mean litigating.

It is his hope that smaller nations will not have to resort to legal action against specific countries in order to reduce their carbon emissions. He emphasized that Antigua and Barbuda will not sit idly by and allow the situation to worsen, but will take proactive measures.

“That’s not a fate that we will condone and I have said to the people of Antigua and Barbuda if it is one administration that you can assure that will fight for you is the Gaston Browne Administration and similarly Caribbean people can be assured that my administration will fight for them in a forum,” the Prime Minister said.

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