Climate Change and International Law:

Climate Change and International Law:


There is multi-faceted aspect to the issue of climate change and its impact. The causes and consequences of climate change span a broad swath of human activity and its effects and consequences are multi-generational. Observers note that there are various areas of international law where attempts are increasing to “make law” in relation to climate change.


This assignment is for the student to provide some description of one of these areas of international law and its efforts to make international law regarding climate change.


For this paper students will need to examine what the literature in the law review articles, available through Lexis-Nexis, provide on their chosen topics. The paper should examine in the context of climate change the development of an international regime, treaty, or document, its purposes, its future use or influence, or a specific application or relevant event in its use


  • Use 8 relevant law review articles.


2) For the paper:

  1. a) There must be six major sections in the paper. Each of these sections must be clearly identified:

                        1) Title Page

2) Abstract

3) Introduction–There should be an introductory paragraph that provides both of the following:

  1. A clear identification of the thesis statement of the paper, i.e. what this paper is about. E.g., “this paper will discuss the Convention on Biological Diversity and the responses taken by the international community with this treaty to address climate change.”
  2. A brief outline of what the paper will discuss in order to address this thesis.

4) Discussion—

Discuss how the selected law review articles contribute to the discussion of the issue in the assigned topic of your paper.

  1. a) Topicality of this law review material and cases will be a part of the grade for the paper.
  2. b) In this paper there needs to be demonstrated integration and evaluation of the law review articles and any related material.

5) Summary and Conclusion–summarize the basic points made in the paper and provide some conclusions that the reader should draw from the discussion.

6) Annotated References. There must be a list of references to the law review articles, and these must be annotated (i.e. very briefly summarized (about 50 words each)).

  1. b) Style requirements:

1) Paraphrase materials in your own words there should be no lengthy quotes (more than 10 words) of materials.

2) Use complete sentences. Spell check and thoroughly proofread your paper.

3) Do not use 1st-person references (“I think …” “We should ….”)

4) Do not use 2nd person reference (“You think …” “This affects us ….”) 5) Use appropriate referencing; these are ” in-text citations,” see below. Frequent referencing in the paper is a requirement, for all assertions of fact in the paper there should be a reference to some authority. In the discussion if there is a paragraph without at least one reference to an authority made, something is not right!

6) Use APA style for in-text citations in the paper and for the list of references. Consult the following website for APA style basics:

  1. a) Use APA style for in-text citations.
  2. i) Examine the page on this APA website for “in-text citations”. As stated earlier frequent referencing in the paper is a must, for all assertions in the paper there should be a reference to some authority.
  3. b) Use a reference page to identify the sources (law review articles) found for the paper. There must be a list of references to the law review articles, and these must be annotated (i.e. very briefly summarized (about 50 words each)).


Reference list format for Law Review Articles.


  1. Use this format: Author last name, 1st initial (Year). Article Title. Journal Title, Volume Number, Page Numbers)
  2. Example: Lincoln, A. Gettysburg Address. The Journal of Famous Stuff, 45, 205-267)


The numbers at the end of this reference refer to the volume number and the range of page numbers. The first page is easy enough to find on Lexis-Nexis. Keep in mind that Lexis-Nexis attempts to identify for the reader all the page numbers of the printed version of the article by brackets and an asterisk, such as: [*404]. Thus, the last page number can be located by scrolling to the end of the text of the article (usually prior to the start of the footnotes).


  1. c) References for law review articles and cases must each be annotated (that is a brief summary or explanation (about 50 words each).



The term-paper assignment must be about 2500 words.



Term Paper Topic:


Trade and Investment

  1. A major source of greenhouse gas emissions is stated to be global economic activity, that is encouraged and facilitated by international trade and investment regimes. Re-orienting the global economy from its reliance on fossil fuels will challenge existing trade law regimes and their emphasis on non-discrimination, the rules on subsidies and countervailing measures and limitations on types of environmental, natural resource management, and other standards.


First Article to start investigating (7 more needed after this one see guidelines above):


2011, Sustainable Development Law & Policy, 11 Sustainable Dev. L. & Pol’y 29, 9294 words, In This Issue: Trade, Investment, And Sustainable Development: A Legal View On Border Tax Adjustments And Climate Change: A Latin American Perspective, by Valentina Durán Medina and Rodrigo Polanco Lazo


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