The 2nd Tarragona International Environmental Law Colloquium (TIEC) was jointly organized by the Tarragona Centre for Environmental Law Studies (CEDAT-URV) and the Tarragona Environmental Law Students Association (AAEDAT). It took place on 18 – 19 May 2017 at the Faculty of Legal Sciences of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Tarragona, Spain.
The 2nd TIEC was an activity carried out under research project ‘Constitución Climática Global: Gobernanza y Derecho en un Contexto Complejo’ funded by the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitivity (DER2016-80011-P).
The title of the 2nd Tarragona International Environmental Law Colloquium was ‘Longing for Justice in a Climate-Changed World: From Theory to Practice’.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the climate system is unequivocally changing. Since 1950, the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished and the sea level has risen. Droughts, floods and other extreme events are predicted to be more frequent and severe. As the UN Human Rights Council has recognized, climate change threatens lives and livelihoods across the globe, becoming a matter of human rights. Furthermore, climate change is also a matter of justice as it especially affects the already most vulnerable populations, having a disproportionate impact on their living conditions.
In order to tackle climate change, the international community has set out a global action plan in the 2015 Paris Agreement which is expected to limit global warming and keep the rise in temperature bellow 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. However, based on past and current experiences (e.g. Kyoto Protocol), it can be predicted that achieving actual and effective results towards that objective will be anything but easy. Therefore, it is time to engage in discussions on the identification of challenges and opportunities for effectively bringing theory into practice in a manner that delivers environmental sustainability and social justice in a climate-changed world.
Prof. Carmen G. Gonzalez (Seattle University School of Law) and Prof. Duncan French (Lincoln Law School) addressed the overall theme of the colloquium in their presentations as keynote speakers in the second edition of the TIEC. The event counted with four panels: challenges and multilevel strategies to tackle climate change; climate justice, democracy and human rights; Climate change, vulnerable populations and migration; Climate litigation: current and emerging issues, including a total number of twelve outstanding oral and seven poster presentations. In addition, Prof. Jamie Benidickson concluded the colloquium.