April 7, 2016
Professor published in Journal of Environmental Law and Practice
Professor Sharon Mascher has published “Neglected Sovereignty: Filling Canada’s Climate Change Gap with Unilateral Measures” (2016) 29 JELP 361. Read the article.
In the over two decades since the UNFCCC entered into force, the need to take action on climate change has become much more urgent. Despite the UNFCCC, its companion Kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen Accord, the Cancun Agreement and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, global GHG emissions have continued to rise. According to the IPCC's Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report, in order to have a "likely" chance of maintaining warming below 28C over pre-industrial temperatures, global GHG emissions need to drop between 40%-70% by 2050 compared to 2010 and to near zero or below by 2100. As the science becomes clearer, and significant and irreversible changes are increasingly locked into the climate system, this paper argues that if Canada continues to neglect its sovereign responsibility to put in place policies and measures to mitigate GHG emissions other countries may well have the legal right to use unilateral measures to fill the gap.