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HomeNewsRegional NewsAntigua, a landmark country in Oceans Court ruling on greenhouse gas pollution

Antigua, a landmark country in Oceans Court ruling on greenhouse gas pollution


by Elesha George (Antigua Observer) On Tuesday, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS,) an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), expanded the definition of marine pollution to include greenhouse gases.

Twenty-one (21) judges agreed that excessive production of greenhouse emissions is a marine pollutant and is harmful to marine and human life. The tribunal ruled that nations signed-on to the Sea Convention therefore have a legal obligation to prevent, reduce, and control marine pollution linked to greenhouse gas emissions which are largely absorbed by the ocean.

The first-of-its-kind decision was declared in Hamburg, Germany to clarify the specific obligations of States to protect the marine environment according to the interpretation and application of the 1970s Convention.

Championing the cause is prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne alongside the prime minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano who are both co-chairs of the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (COSIS).

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