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Climate Change and International Economic Law

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Title: Climate Change and International Economic Law
Authors: Baker, Shalanda H.
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Ecology Law Quarterly
Citation: Shalanda H. Baker, Climate Change and International Economic Law, 43 Ecology L. Q. 53 (2016).
Abstract: This Article examines an unexplored issue arising at the intersection of international economic law and international environmental law: How might international economic law adapt to allow states in the Global South, which are disproportionately impacted by the sudden and unforeseen impacts o f global climate change, to exit or modify economic relationships that render such states more vulnerable to these negative impacts? This Article begins with an explication o f the unique features o f international economic law and international environmental law, and argues that the architecture o f modern international economic law, which requires a certain degree o f environmental stability in order to incentivize private investment, could limit a capital importing state’s ability to respond to unforeseen environmental harm resulting from climate change. The limited solutions currently available to a capital importing state facing such circumstances, including breach, denunciation or withdrawal, could pose political, economic, and reputational costs that leave the developing state in the undesirable position of being untethered to the system of international economic law. This Article argues that climate change provides a unique opportunity to animate the moribund doctrine o f fundamental change o f circumstances, rebus sic stantibus, to assist states in managing the impacts o f climate change within the realm o f international economic law. The doctrine, rooted in equity, may provide a basis for exiting an agreement or, perhaps more desirably, renegotiating the agreement. The party invoking the doctrine must illustrate that the
Pages/Duration: 55 pages
Appears in Collections:Baker, Shalanda H.

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