Earth System, the Common Heritage
The need for a new legal approach to the global
28-30 September, 2020
Porto - Gaia, Portugal
Climate as a Concern or Heritage?
When the issue of climate change entered the UN agenda in 1988, one of the first questions raised was: What is climate from a legal point of view? After a proposal to “proclaiming climate as part of the "Common Heritage of Humankind”, the UN resolution adopted considered climate as “Common Concern of Humankind”. However, it has proved impossible to agree on what the climate as "common concern of humankind” means from a legal standpoint. After 25 years of climate negotiations gridlock, it’s time to reopen this discussion to find a positive expectation of reaching and going beyond the Paris Agreement goals. As Einstein would argue, you can’t continuously repeat the same actions and expect different results.
Defining our global common…
The planetary system that we inhabit - the Earth System that functions as a single integrated system at the planetary level - is comprised of interacting physical, chemical and biological cycles and energy flows that not only support life but are regulated by life. A stable climate is a visible manifestation of a well-functioning Earth System, that is exhaustible by excessive use and by lack of permanent maintenance. A well-functioning Earth System is our ultimate common good, even if it is not yet legally recognized as such. The first step for a successful management of the commons, is the adoption of a clear legal definition of the common good. The failure to do so has led to the climate and biosphere emergencies, as inevitable and logical outcomes of the unregulated use of the Earth System.
CHAIR OF THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
28-30 SEPTEMBER, 2020
SUPER BOCK ARENA
PAVILHÃO ROSA MOTA