13 Aug Climate Change and Disappearing Island States: Pursuing Remedial Territory
Climate Change and Disappearing Island States: Pursuing Remedial Territory
Brill Open Law
As at the start of 2018, at least eight low-lying Pacific islands have been found to have disappeared as a result of climate change induced rising sea levels and more seem likely in future to suffer the same fate. Because international law demands territory as a requirement of statehood, this could have implications for the affected states’ continuation and the livelihood of the populations displaced. Scholars in recent years have therefore pointed to various strategies for the disappearing island community to maintain a territorial dimension. This article examines in particular the as yet largely uninvestigated option of pursuing remedial territory, i.e. territory transferred from responsible to injured states as redress for climate change induced deterritorialisation. Applying the rules on state responsibility, it considers whether at least some emitting third states may be obliged to provide a portion of their territory as reparation for the commission of an internationally wrongful act.