The Book

Global climate change is a topic of continuously growing interest. As more international treaties come into force, media coverage has increased and many universities are now starting to conduct courses specifically on climate change laws and policies. This textbook provides a survey of the international law on climate change, explaining how significant international agreements have sought to promote compliance with general norms of international law. Benoit Mayer provides an account of the rules agreed upon through lengthy negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and multiple other forums on mitigation, geoengineering, adaptation, loss and damage and international support. The International Law on Climate Change is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students studying climate, environmental or international law. It is supported by a suite of online resources featuring regularly updated lists of complementary materials and weblinks, and annually updated briefs for specific chapters.

  • An interdisciplinary treatment of climate change, clarifying its scientific, economic and political underpinnings
  • A clear and accessible writing style outlines simple step-by-step developments enabling students to understand the complexity of a quarter-century of extremely intense negotiations
  • Differing and opposing views are discussed and evaluated, encouraging students to critically engage with the topics and develop their skills in debating and argumentative essay writing


Comprehensive and thought-provoking, written in multiple perspectives. It is essential reading for academics and practitioners of international law in tackling the challenges of climate change and protecting the atmosphere in the twenty-first century.‘ Shinya Murase, Special Rapporteur on the ‘Protection of the Atmosphere’, UN International Law Commission

International climate change law has gradually come to reflect the complexity of the problem it seeks to address. Uncovering the why, how, where and what of international law on climate change, this book forms essential reading for anyone looking for an incisive analysis of how to tackle one of the defining challenges of our time.‘ Harro van Asselt, University of Eastern Finland

Offering an informed and engaged perspective on the international law that governs humanity’s crucial efforts to address global climate change, this book is essential reading for policy-makers, practitioners and scholars interested in securing a sustainable future for themselves and for generations to come.‘ Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, University of Waterloo, Canada

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