In preparation for next month’s Conference of the Parties (COP) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, IKEM dedicated its annual conference on 11 October to a discussion of the global dimensions of climate protection law and policy. Presentations by renowned researchers and representatives from politics and practice highlighted the importance of the upcoming climate negotiations for global climate action.
‘The Egyptian government has made the practical implementation of the Paris Agreement, and of the regulations based on that agreement, a key focus of its presidency,’ said IKEM’s director, Prof. Dr Michael Rodi. ‘This is a welcome development, because a legal agreement has no value if it isn’t implemented, even if the agreement itself is good.’
‘After some disappointment at the outcome of last year’s COP in Glasgow, Egypt could also make an important contribution to progress on the issue of climate finance,’ Rodi continued. ‘Because Sharm el-Sheikh is located in Africa and the Global South, it’s certainly the right place to address the issue of “loss and damage”.’
In his opening remarks, Prof. Dr Rodi also underscored the significance of international exchange for climate action and IKEM’s work.
‘We will only overcome the challenges of the climate crisis if we pull together globally and appreciate the whole range of strategies available to facilitate local implementation,’ he said.
‘International research cooperation – such as IKEM’s collaborations with universities in Alicante (Spain), Glasgow (Scotland), Vaasa (Finland), São Paulo (Brazil), Kharkiv (Ukraine) and MIT (USA) – can play a key role in this process.’
The agenda for IKEM’s annual conference included speeches by legal experts on the international climate framework, as well as discussions of the status of international climate policy in a time of war and crisis.
‘We were very pleased at the interest in our annual conference and would like to thank all of the speakers for their presentations,’ said Susan Wilms, IKEM’s managing director.
‘Their input made it clear once again that we will only achieve the 1.5-degree target if individual countries set more ambitious emission reduction targets, have independent monitors track their progress, and fully integrate civil society into the process.’
The presentations and discussions at the annual conference laid the groundwork for IKEM’s side event at this year’s COP, which will focus on the topic of litigation in the context of climate action.
‘While climate lawsuits have already shown how important court proceedings can be for climate action, out-of-court dispute resolution processes such as arbitration and mediation have not yet been established,’ said Wilms. ‘With our side event at COP, we are not only providing substantive momentum, but also raising awareness for these procedures, which will shape climate change mitigation in the coming decades.’
Speakers at IKEM’s annual conference included:
- Prof. Dr Christina Voigt (University of Oslo)
- Dr Kathleen Pauleweit (IKEM)
- Dr Michael Kalis (IKEM/IFZO/University of Greifswald)
- Kate McKenzie (Climate Change Litigation Initiative)
- Prof. Dr Stephan Breidenbach (New School of Law)
- Lea Main-Klingst (Client Earth)
- Dr Camilla Bausch (Ecologic Institute)
- Aylin Shawkat (Agora Energiewende)
- Alexandra Goritz (Germanwatch)
- Karim Mazrou (Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt)
The content of the presentations will be summarised in an upcoming article on IKEM’s website.