Global Perspectives on the UN’s Global Pact for the Environment
On May 10, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution 72/277, “Toward a Global Pact for the Environment”. The Global Pact for the Environment aims to unify international environmental governance and codify a human right to the environment in international law. The resolution calls for the Secretary General to submit “a technical and evidence-based report” on “possible gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments” at the 73rd session of the UNGA. It also establishes an “ad hoc open-ended working group… to consider the report and discuss possible options to address possible gaps.”
As the 73rd session of the UNGA convenes this week, Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment have asked independent thought leaders and legal scholars from around the world to weigh in on what, if anything, the process initiated by the Global Pact might accomplish. The collection of perspectives, gathered from 19 experts from around the world, also addresses what the United Nations agencies, national governments and civil society stakeholders engaged in the process would be wise to consider. Together, these perspectives identify a number of existing issues that merit attention and, if heeded, could inform negotiations on the future of international environmental governance.
In addition, an event on September 26 will gather experts to discuss the Global Pact from legal, diplomatic, economic, and ethical perspectives. This event is free and open to the public, though registration is required.