Australia & Oceania

May 23, 2011 to May 25, 2011

Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implications of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate

Some time this century the Republic of the Marshall Islands is likely to be completely submerged. They asked Columbia Law School to look at the legal issues this raises. If a country is under water, is it still a state? Does it still have a seat at the UN? What happens to its fishing rights and mineral rights? What is the citizenship of its displaced people? Does it have legal recourse? The result is this international conference of legal scholars on legal issues faced by island nations threatened by sea level rise.

"Cyclone May Be Tipping Point In Australia Climate Policy Debate"

"Australia has endured two of its deadliest summers on record, blamed in part on global warming, but record fires, floods and cyclones have not persuaded it to take strong action on climate change. But some experts hope that Wednesday's arrival of giant Cyclone Yasi on the coast of Queensland, already hit by massive floods last month, will help bring more of a sense of urgency to the political debate over climate policy."

Source: Reuters, 02/03/2011

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