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International law of climate change: Profound challenges facing COP26

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A multidisciplinary webinar discussion hosted by ILA(Australia) and Melbourne Climate Futures, University of Melbourne

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The next meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021. COP 26 will have before it the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the Working Group 1 contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report AR6 Climate Change 2021 released on 9 August 2021. The latest IPCC report starkly identifies that urgent sustained action to limit greenhouse gases is essential if humanity is to have any hope of keeping global temperature rise to adaptable limits for humans.

The International Law Association (Australia) and Melbourne Climate Futures based at the University of Melbourne invite you to participate in a multi-disciplinary panel that will look at the many policy challenges likely to arise at COP 26. The panel is chaired by the Hon Justice Nicola Pain. Questions to be addressed by the expert panellists Professor Jacqueline Peel, Professor Robyn Eckersley and Associate Professor Malte Meinshausen include:

• how will the IPCC latest report inform the work of COP 26?

• the different negotiating positions of countries/blocs which inform the agenda for COP 26?

• what negotiations are needed for COP 26 to deliver meaningful mitigation action to address climate change in light of the overall negotiations of the COP to date (Paris Agreement etc)?

• how are adaptation measures being considered in COP 26?

• Australia’s negotiating position at COP 26 as a developed country, and how that is perceived by other developed and developing countries?

• domestic policy implications of COP 26 outcomes?

Speakers:

Professor Jacqueline Peel is a professor in the Melbourne Law School and the inaugural Director of the University’s multidisciplinary climate initiative, Melbourne Climate Futures, designed to bring University activities together to accelerate the transition to a positive climate future. She is a world-leading expert in climate law, including use of the courts to achieve policy and social change on the issue. Among many other roles, Jacqueline is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. She has made extensive contributions to public and policy debate on climate and energy transition issues, including through her work with the International Law Association’s Committee on Legal Principles on Climate Change and the Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law. Professor Peel has a PhD in law from Melbourne University, a Masters from NYU where she was a Fulbright Scholar and a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws (Hon I) from the University of Queensland.

Professor Robyn Eckersley is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She has published widely in climate politics, politics and governance and she has been tracking the international climate negotiations for three decades, with a particular focus on the roles of the US, China and Australia. Her most recent publication is ‘Rethinking Leadership: Understanding the Roles of the US and China in the Negotiation of the Paris Agreement’; European Journal of International Relations (2020).

Associate Professor Malte Meinshausen’s main research activity relates to carbon budgets, climate scenarios and the reduced-complexity model MAGICC. Malte Meinshausen is a lead author of the Sixth IPCC Assessment Report, Working Group I, and a Core Writing Team Member for the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report. From 2005 to 2015, Malte Meinshausen was the scientific advisor on the German delegation to the UNFCCC negotiations. He founded the Climate & Energy College at the University of Melbourne and was its director for the first five years, as well as the co-director of the Energy Transition Hub. Malte Meinshausen holds a Ph.D. in Climate Science & Policy from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and an M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford.

Chair:

The Hon Justice Nicola Pain was appointed to the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales in 2002. Earlier in her career Justice Pain was head of the Environmental Defenders Office a public interest community legal centre. Justice Pain has also worked in environmental law and policy in senior positions in NSW and Commonwealth government departments. Justice Pain is an adjunct professor at the University of Sydney Law School. She has presented numerous papers in Australia and overseas and published widely on environmental law and related topics.


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Organiser International Law Association (Australian Branch)

Organiser of International law of climate change: Profound challenges facing COP26

The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873, with the belief that international law is key to peace, justice and development in a globalised world. Its constitutional objectives are “the study, clarification and development of international law, both public and private, and the furtherance of international understanding and respect for international law”. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies. The ILA has a vibrant and growing community of over 4,500 members and 63 branches worldwide, including the Australian Branch.

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