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We bring the most incisive legal proposals to the diplomats negotiating the 2022 Declaration.


The Pathway to the 2022 Declaration Blog is written by jurists for diplomats to feed the ongoing discussions with legal proposals. It is our hope that this Blog will bring inspiration to the work of diplomats and facilitate the negotiations on the Declaration.

In 2022, a Political Declaration will be adopted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This Declaration comes at a critical juncture for the global environment.

Time is running out. The world is heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century compared to pre-industrial levels – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing a 1.5°C target. The situation of biodiversity loss is even more serious, with the sixth massive species extinction unfolding before our very eyes. These two ‘planetary boundaries’ are, in turn, vectors which influence all others and pose a genuine existential threat to humanity.

But it’s not too late. Unprecedented changes across all sectors need to happen by 2030 if we are to are to reach the 1.5°C target. The post-pandemic recovery provides a historical opportunity to take a step in the right direction. The 2022 Declaration thus comes at the right time to take decisive action in this crucial decade.

This is why we bring fresh ideas for renewed diplomatic action. International law is no easy business. While diplomats negotiate the law, it is lawyers, judges, and jurists more generally who apply it on a daily basis. With their practical perspective, jurists can provide diplomats with the tools to make international law effective. To this end, we gather insights from practitioners and professors around the world to make the 2022 Declaration a game-changer for the environment.

A Declaration can be a tool for change. Despite not being legally binding, a political declaration can still effectively tackle pressing environmental matters. It can give guidance to lawmakers and the judiciary by compelling States into action. It can enshrine existing principles of environmental law on the international level or even recognize new principles. It can address the fragmentation of environmental law and governance or instead call for effective implementation of existing treaties.

The debate is open, and diplomats are thirsty for new ideas. Do you have proposals to make? Are you interested in making your voice heard in international fora? Don’t hesitate to read our submission guidelines and submit your proposals.