Session to be held on “Contemporary Challenges to International Law and Policy on Sustainable Development, Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Protection, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer”, organized by gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom), the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law on the occasion of the Conference for Young Lawyers (COFOLA) International, held at Masaryk University, Telč (Czech Republic),19 April – 21 April 2018.
In recent years, our planet has been exposed to various environmental challenges. 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been the three warmest years on record and extremely high temperatures hit particularly southern Europe, eastern and southern Africa, South America as well as parts of Russia and China. (WMO, 2017) Natural disasters in form of heatwaves, droughts, more frequent and powerful tropical cyclones, and heavier monsoon rains caused property, infrastructure and environmental damage as well as human losses around the world. In the most affected region Asia-Pacific, natural disasters caused 4,987 deaths, affected 35 million people and caused damage of about $77 billion in 2016. (UN ESCAP, 2017) Biodiversity has been constantly threatened by use of natural resources for economic and social growth. Biodiversity loss is occurring at mass-extinction rates. The populations of vertebrate species declined by an estimated 58% between 1970 and 2012. (WEF Global Risks Report, 2018) Soils are under pressure from population growth, pollution and higher demands for land uses other than food production. About a third of our global soils are degraded. (UNEP, 2018) More than 2 billion people globally are living in countries with excess water stress and 800 million people have no access to an improved water sources (UNDP, 2015) Climate change has significant security implications for fragile regions, leading to social tensions, upheavals, instability and involuntary migration. The latest data show that 76% of the 31.1 million people displaced during 2016 were forced from their homes as a result of weather-related events. (WEF Global Risks Report, 2018)
Environmental risks increasingly growing in prominence. The Global Risks Report 2018, published by the World Economic Forum, affirmed the trend of recent years: as the financial crisis has receded, economic risks have been replaced by environmental risks. According to the Global Risks Report 2018, four of five top risks in terms of impact are associated with climate change: extreme water events; natural disasters; failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; and water crisis.
(1) International law has enormous potential to address the abovementioned challenges related to climate change, sustainable development and environmental protection. The international community is already equipped with several instruments to keep advancing and implementing actions towards sustainable development, protection of the environment and fight against climate change. Although the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement are considered landmark achievements, the recent events at domestic and international level (Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, logging in Bialowieza forest in Poland) reveal significant risk of a step-back of the objectives and goals towards sustainable development. Thus, the conference seeks to address the abovementioned challenges and to analyse tools of international law against the backdrop of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.
(2) Although governments have a fundamental role to ensure the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement, they will not alone foster resilience and sustainable development for all. Engagement of private sector and partnership between public and private sector is essential. Thus, the conference seeks to address the dynamic between public and private sector and to explore their respective roles.
(3) Complexity of the contemporary challenges requires to shape our response beyond the borders of international law and even beyond the borders of the legal field. Multidisciplinary approaches seem to be necessary for achieving the sustainable development and tackling climate change. Thus, the conference seeks to address and to explore potential of multidisciplinary approaches, especially the role of science and technologies.
(4) The UN Climate Change Conference in 2015 (COP21) launched a new era of a global transition to a low-carbon economy. Climate change was recognized as an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet. Action to reduce the impact of climate change and to limit the increase in average global temperatures to less than. 2 °C requires energy transition (Energy production and use account for 2/3 of the world's greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions). Thus, the conference seeks to address and to explore energy transition and role of energy sector in promoting sustainable development and combating climate change.
(5) The UNFCCC underlines the importance of technological innovation for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Technology is particularly relevant for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions. Special attention should be given to technology deployment and dissemination efforts in order to address specific needs and special situations of the least developed countries. Against the backdrop of global effort to facilitate transfer of technologies (green goods, renewables), the conference seeks to address the protection and implementation of intellectual property rights.
(6) Science, technology and innovation are central to energy transition. Successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires interdisciplinary examination of the social, political and cultural dimensions of science and technology such as science and technology for international development. Thus, the conference seeks to address Science & Technology in Society in the broader context of sustainable development, energy, climate change and environmental protection.
gLAWcal - Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom), the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law invite contributions addressing contemporary challenges to international law on sustainable development, climate change, energy and environmental protection (not exhaustively) under the following themes:
- Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Sustainable Development, Environment and Trade
- Energy and Trade
- Transition towards a low-carbon economy
- Sustainable energy for all
- Investments in low-carbon technologies and their protection
- Solutions to migration linked to climate adaptation and mitigation
- Challenges to the global governance of climate change: Is current legal and institutional framework effective?
- Potential impacts of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement
- Role of non-state actors in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Role of private sector in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Role of science in the fight against climate change
- Corporate social responsibility approaches implementing the vision of sustainable development at the corporate level
- Challenges to sustainable energy and environmental protection in the European Union.
- Energy regulation
- Legal and policy instruments available to support the deployment of renewable energy
- Transfer of low-carbon technologies and IP rights
- Intellectual Property Law and Technology transfer from an international and comparative law perspective
- Emerging Economies, Developing countries and their domestic IP law protection
- Science & Technology in Society in the broader context of sustainable development and environmental protection
This call is open for junior academics (Master students, Post-Graduate students PhD Candidates and Post-doctoral students are welcome to apply), as well as practitioners of international organizations and NGOs working in these areas.The objective is to optimize research impact of our participants by engaging the different communities of practice in law, political science, public policy, climatology or environmental science in this interdisciplinary field of sustainability, energy and environment.
Eligibility: All Members of the ESIL Interest Group on International Environmental Law and of the ASIL Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law, the members of otherESIL IGs and ASIL IGs and also the non-ESIL and non-ASIL members (ESIL or ASIL membership might be required if the abstract is selected) are invited to submit abstracts.
• The author’s name and affiliation;
• A 500-700-word abstract [Word file and PDF];
• The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications;
• The author’s contact details, including email address and phone number;
• Whether the author is an ESIL member or ASIL member
Multiple abstracts from the same authors will be considered, but only one can be selected. Co-authored multidisciplinary papers are also welcomed. Applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision no later than March 30, 2018.
Expenses of selected speakers during the conference: The Organizers are unable to provide funding for any cost related to the participation to the conference.
Publication opportunities: The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference. The Organizers envisage to publish a Special Issue on Peer-reviewed or US Law Journal. In any event, there is already an established agreement to publish the results of this conference in the Routledge Publishing (New-York/London) multidisciplinary gLAWcal book series on “Transnational Law and Governance” ( http://www.glawcal.org.uk/book-series/transnational-law-and-governance).
Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University, USA & gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK) and Martin Svec (Masaryk University, Czech Republic & gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK)
The event is jointly supported by the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law, the American Society of International Law Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law and gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom).
IG on International Environmental Law
IG on Intellectual Property Law