The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is holding a hearing to determine whether countries are legally obligated to prevent carbon dioxide emissions from being absorbed by the ocean.
Specifically, the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law last December asked the tribunal for an “advisory opinion” on:
“What are the specific obligations of State Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (‘UNCLOS’), including under Part XII:
“(a) to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment in relation to the deleterious effects that result or are likely to result from climate change, including through ocean warming and sea level rise, and ocean acidification, which are caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere?
“(b) to protect and preserve the marine environment in relation to climate change impacts, including ocean warming and sea level rise, and ocean acidification?”
The hearing began on Monday, September 11th and is scheduled to run through Monday, September 25th.