Sam S. Rowan, “Pitfalls in comparing Paris pledges”

" The Paris pledges are unique documents in climate governance that outline what each country intends to do to combat climate change. Often, these documents contain headline greenhouse gas percentage reduction targets that appear to summarize countries’ contributions to mitigation. This is a boon for comparative climate policy research. However, I show in this paper that the Paris pledges require detailed interpretation to be comparable. I demonstrate the risks in comparing these targets by re-visiting a recent studying linking national public opinion to the stringency of countries’ mitigation goals. I develop new indicators that better account for the structure of the targets and show in replications that the original finding is inconsistent with the underlying data. I conclude by drawing lessons for studying the Paris pledges. " 

Alan Boyle, ‘Litigating Climate Change under Part XII of the LOSC’

The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (forthcoming)

Abstract: "Inter-state litigation is a weapon employed by weaker states with limited diplomatic leverage over their bigger, more powerful opponents. An authoritative judgment may facilitate a settlement of some kind, whether directly, by further negotiation, or simply by legitimising the claims made. The LOSC was negotiated at a time when climate change was not yet part of the international agenda; however, it must be interpreted and applied with subsequent developments in international law and policy in mind. The harmful, toxic, and persistent effects of climate change more than satisfy the test for marine pollution established by Article 1 of LOSC. Part XII applies to climate change insofar as it has or is likely to have deleterious effects on the marine environment. This article will discuss the role that Part XII of LOSC may play in enforcing states’ obligations to protect and preserve the marine environment from the effects of climate change."

Shinichiro Asayama & Mike Hulme, “Engineering climate debt: temperature overshoot and peak-shaving as risky subprime mortgage lending”

Climate Policy (forthcoming)
"Despite the ambitious temperature goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the pace of reducing global CO2emissions remains sluggish. This creates conditions in which the idea of temperature ‘overshoot and peak-shaving’ is emerging as a possible strategy to meet the Paris goal. An overshoot and peak-shaving scenario rests upon the ‘temporary’ use of speculative solar radiation management (SRM) technologies combined with large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Whilst some view optimistically the strategic interdependence between SRM and CDR, we argue that this strategy comes with a risk of escalating ‘climate debt’. We explain our position using the logic of debt and the analogy of subprime mortgage lending. In overshoot and peak-shaving scenarios, the role of CDR and SRM is to compensate for delayed mitigation, placing the world in a double debt: ‘emissions debt’ and ‘temperature debt’. Analogously, this can be understood as a combination of ‘subprime mortgage’ (i.e. large-scale CDR) and ‘home-equity-line-of-credit’ (i.e. temporary SRM). With this analogy, we draw some important lessons from the 2007–2009 US subprime mortgage crisis. The analogy signals that the efficacy of temporary SRM cannot be evaluated in isolation of the feasibility of large-scale CDR and that the failure of the overshoot promise will lead to prolonged peak-shaving, masking an ever-rising climate debt. Overshoot and peak-shaving scenarios should not be presented as a secured feasible investment, but rather as a high-risk speculation betting on insecure promises. Obscuring the riskiness of such scenarios is a precipitous step towards escalating a climate debt crisis."

Darrick Evensen, “The rhetorical limitations of #FridaysForFuture movement

(2019) Nature Climate Change  
"The students striking for action on climate change admirably display civic engagement on a pressing issue. Nevertheless, their movement’s message focuses far too heavily on the need to ‘listen to science’, which is at most a point of departure for answering the ethical and political questions central to climate action."