Understanding the Challenges of Climate Change Regulation in International Shipping

Conference Report

October 4, 2017

This research workshop was co-organized by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Marine & Environmental Law (MELAW) Institute at Dalhousie University, Halifax, under the Chatham House Rule. It brought together experts from CIGI’s International Law Research Program
 and from governmental, academic and private sectors. Its goal was to discuss how the international maritime legal and governance frameworks can address climate change challenges in shipping, and explore potential knowledge and research needs
 to further inform policy initiatives in this area.

Most workshop participants had expertise
 in different areas of law, administration and practice related to shipping and climate and attended to brainstorm ideas for future research at both CIGI and the MELAW Institute.

Among the topics discussed during the workshop were:

  • scoping of the issue and the governance framework for shipping and climate, including the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the international regulation of pollution under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the legal framework for the shipping industry under the International Maritime Organization (IMO); 

  • current initiatives at the IMO; 

  • lessons from comparable initiatives, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the European Union, and sectoral commonalities and differentiation between aviation and maritime transport; 

  • legal and governance issues, such as the specific role of industry in developing greenhouse gas reduction contributions and the role of port states and non-governmental organizations; and 

  • other policy and legal constraints and opportunities. 

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