Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implications of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate

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Michael B. Gerrard, Gregory E. Wannier
Cambridge University Press, Jan 21, 2013 - Business & Economics - 639 pages
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Rising seas are endangering the habitability and very existence of several small island nations, mostly in the Pacific and Indian oceans. This is the first book to focus on the myriad legal issues posed by this tragic situation: If a nation is under water, is it still a state? Does it still have a seat at the United Nations? What becomes of its exclusive economic zone, the basis for its fishing rights? What obligations do other nations have to take in the displaced populations, and what are these peoples' rights and legal status once they arrive? Should there be a new international agreement on climate-displaced populations? Do these nations and their citizens have any legal recourse for compensation? Are there any courts that will hear their claims, and based on what theories? Leading legal scholars from around the world address these novel questions and propose answers.

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About the author (2013)

Michael B. Gerrard is Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, where he teaches courses on environmental and energy law and directs the Center for Climate Change Law. He is also Associate Chair of the Faculty of Columbia's Earth Institute. Before joining the Columbia faculty in January 2009, he was partner in charge of the New York office of Arnold and Porter LLP, where he continues as Senior Counsel. He is author or editor of ten prior books, two of which were named Best Law Book of the Year by the Association of American Publishers: Environmental Law Practice Guide (twelve volumes, 1992) and Brownfields Law and Practice: The Cleanup and Redevelopment of Contaminated Land (four volumes, 1998). His other most recent books are The Law of Green Buildings (with Cullen Howe, 2010), The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables (2011) and The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: US and International Aspects (with Katrina F. Kuh, 2012).

Greg Wannier is a judicial clerk for the Hon. S. James Otero on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He largely edited this book while serving as Deputy Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. His research has included analyses of EPA regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and associated litigation, legal mechanisms for adapting to the effects of global climate change, implications of electricity grid reliability protections for energy resource development, the viability of market solutions to climate change, and national and international trade protections, both environmental and security motivated. Greg received his JD from Stanford Law School, where he served as President of the Environmental Law Society and Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Journal of Law, Science and Policy.

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