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Discussion: International Law

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Climate Change

International laws are guidelines and principles governing the relationships among countries and between intercontinental organizations. The countries come up with these rules to benefit the citizens from their states by promoting peace, international trade, ensuring justice to everyone and maintaining security among the nations. Unlike other laws, international law isn’t made in statute approval by the government. This is because all-party agreements do not relate to all countries but only to those nations that have agreed to be together by passing and complying with them. This makes the specific rules of international law to be challenging to recognize than the other laws international laws are set up in a range of sources that are recorded in article 38(1) of the act of the international court of justice as follows; the general principle of law, treaties and conventions, customs and judicial decision and teachings.

Today the most critical issue of international law is climate change. This has come after scientists warned on the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases that would warm our earth’s atmosphere changing the climate around the 1980s. However, being the most, there have also been some other issues that the United Nations have tried to deal with, which most countries cannot solve in time of crisis without global support(Clayton, 2020). These issues include; humanitarian issues, overpopulation, global issues/terrorism, and war crimes. Climate change has been most considered because its effects have touched the most basic of human life. Starting from global warming which has led to changes in the weather pattern, food production, animals being extinct, and an increase in the sea level causing floods. These brought the world in a disaster for about the last five years. Through international law has called the world to act on those issues as quickly as possible to prevent any harm connected to them in the future. Apart from that, the cost of saving the environment from the increased effects of climate change has been a demand for more strategies to be set with the nation coming together.

Naturally greenhouse gases are much important in the survival of all living things, including animals and plants. Greenhouse gases also play a great role in holding the sun’s rays from reaching the earth, thus making it a conducive place to live .However, in the current days there has been an increase in deforestation, industrialization, modern agricultural activities and improved standard of living which have made the accumulation of the greenhouse gases in the air to rise putting the world in a distressing state and at a high rate (Yamineva & Romppanen, 2017).

Through intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), we get information on the leading causes of climate change, in the fifth assessment report. The report stated that ‘climate change is real, and human beings were responsible for it.’The report also addressed the high increase in sea level, which effects was much noted in 2019 from the numerous cases of flooding in those countries that are much exposed to flooding(Gaüzère et al., 2020). Some of the highlighted causes of the rise in sea level in the report were; melting of ice from the land to the ocean, warm water that expands in the sea, a slowing gulf stream, and sinking land, all resulting from global warming. Apart from this, there were other evidence on climate changes from the report among them the significant increase of carbon dioxide level from the high growth rate of industrialization, drying up of rivers due to deforestation, melting of arctic tundra, malnourishment of polar bears as they are unable to food on the land where they are forced to live due to disappearance of ice lead by climate change. Destruction of the Amazon forest was mentioned as the leading cause of climate change globally. All this brought a clear picture of how climate change is the greatest issue currently and is triggering much on the damage of life of many living beings on the earth.

Regarding this, international law has developed a system of mitigating and adapting to climate changes that will help the nations adjust to the new information and requirements that will take into account a wide range of different national interests. In connection with the United Nations, there has been a new 10-year climate action plan that is helping to achieve a forty-five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emission and sourcing eighty percent of electricity production from renewable energy by 2030. The most encouraging thing is that the issue has successfully been addressed, and the result has been seen from the increasing number of wildlife species as we expect more in the other areas.


Clayton, S. (2020). Climate anxiety: Psychological responses to climate change. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 74, 102263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102263

Gaüzère, P., Barbaro, L., Calatayud, F., Princé, K., Devictor, V., Raison, L., Sirami, C., & Balent, G. (2020). Long-term effects of combined land-use and climate changes on local bird communities in Mosaic Agricultural Landscapes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 289, 106722. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106722

Yamineva, Y., & Romppanen, S. (2017). Is law failing to address air pollution? Reflections on international and EU developments. Review Of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law26(3), 189-200. https://doi.org/10.1111/reel.12223

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