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In: Energy from the Sea

Abstract

Climate change poses serious threats to the marine environment but there is no explicit mention of climate change, ocean warming and acidification in LOSC. This comes as little surprise, given its conclusion in the early 1980s when appreciation for the potential severity of climate change was emerging. As a ‘living instrument’, the Convention has the flexibility and legal tools to address emerging climate change impacts. This article assesses its capacity to do so, as well as the extent to which the oceans have featured in the climate regime. LOSC is not ‘enough’ – but then, it has never been a ‘one stop shop’ for marine environmental protection, whether from conventional sources of marine pollution or from relatively newly appreciated threats such as the impacts of climate change. Indeed, a multifaceted approach is typical of legal responses to the ‘super wicked’ problem of climate change, and the oceans are no exception.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
In: Multilateral Treaty-Making

While the international legal framework for offshore energy activities is anchored in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (losc), it “is complemented by an array of relevant instruments and measures at the global, regional and national levels”. This article examines the role of generally accepted international rules and standards (gairs) in the implementation of the losc in the offshore energy sector, with particular reference to the decommissioning of offshore installations, marine pollution from continental shelf exploration and exploitation, submarine cables and pipelines, and shipping. This analysis reveals that this role has been one of facilitating, strengthening and updating the losc in the light of legal and technical developments since its conclusion—a process of normative reinforcement rather than normative conflict. Yet, as highlighted in the conclusion, significant gaps nonetheless remain in the regulation of offshore energy activities.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law