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Durham University COP26 Event Series: ADAPTION AND RESILIENCE

Posted on 15 September 2021

Durham University COP26 Event Series: ADAPTION AND RESILIENCE

Durham University COP26 Event Series:‘STEAM for ACE’


September 2021

Brought to you by the Department of Law and Global Policy Institute, the month of September covers the ‘Adaption & Resilience’ priority from the UN Climate Change Conference in 2021.

This month covers the global goal of adaptation to climate change. It will explore how international law can help in building resilience into climate governance frameworks. Climate resilient futures demand a holistic approach where measures that address the climate crisis and the recovery from the current pandemic are reconciled, in order to meet the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement.

On the 15th and 16th of September we have a two day conference on the Challenges to a Sustainable Recovery: International Law, Climate Change and Public Health. 

Then on the 24th of September Lavanya Rajamani, who is a Professor of International Environmental Law at the University of Oxford will provide a seminar on Equity and Fairness in International Climate Change Law.

Further information and registration links for these events

are available here.


Challenges to a Sustainable Recovery: International Law,

Climate Change and Public Health

September 15th and 16th 8.30am – 5.00pm

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the call for a “green recovery”, the new US administration has called climate change an “existential threat”. The World Health Organisation has stated that “Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st Century”. Climate scientists discuss a range of different climate futures, and these are largely dependent on the level of global ambition for climate action. Accelerating the economy-wide decarbonisation for climate change mitigation can yield major co-benefits for health, for example by reducing the effects of air pollution on health since in many cases the sources of air pollutants and greenhouse gases are the same.

Is international law equipped to support a sustainable recovery from the current pandemic that promotes public health and healthy ecosystems, including protecting biodiversity, to achieve the climate goal of the Paris Agreement? This multi-disciplinary conference will bring together experts from international law, climate science and epidemiology, to discuss some of the complex linkages between air pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss and human health. These interactions may concern not only the underlying causes of the current public health crisis and the climate crisis, but also the responses to them where co-operation of states is urgently required to work towards achieving common objectives and protecting global public goods.

Science can inform states’ action and point towards consequences of inaction, by predicting the probable impacts of different decisions but rarely gives a definitive single option for policy- and lawmakers. Scientific models and warnings are important for setting climate targets to mitigate climate change, to adapt to the forecasted impacts of climate change, and to return to a “better normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic. A sustainable recovery from both crises requires us to strengthen the legal response that takes the science into account and addresses both emergencies simultaneously and immediately.

The full programme for the conference is available to download as a PDF here.

Register here.


Equity and Fairness in International Climate Change Law

September 24th  10.00am – 11.30am

Lavanya Rajamani is a Professor of International Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, and Yamani Fellow in Public International Law at St Peter's College, Oxford. Lavanya specializes in the field of international environmental and climate change law.

She has authored several books and articles in this field, including Innovation and Experimentation in the International Climate Change Regime (Hague Academy/ Receuil des Cours, 2020), and the ASIL prize-winning co-authored book, International Climate Change Law (OUP, 2017). She is also lead editor of the second edition of the Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (OUP, 2021).

She serves as Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and has served as a consultant and legal advisor, among others, to the UNFCCC Secretariat and Alliance of Small Island States. She was part of the UNFCCC core drafting and advisory team for the 2015 Paris Agreement, and advises governments and international organizations on matters of international climate change law and policy.

Register here.