International environmentallaw has been developed to be various disciplines which discuss severaldifferent issues specifically. Regimes have been devised to address specificglobal or regional environmental problems, such as particular sources and typesof transboundary pollution, rather than to promote transboundary environmentalgovernance in a holistic and integrated manner.1 Asa consequence there is today an array of international environmental regimesbut a lack of coordination among them, and many regimes operate independently,and sometimes even inconsistently, in relation to each another.2The changing chemistry ofthe oceans as a result of the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from theatmosphere, called ocean acidification, is one of several challenges inaddressing new environmental challenges effectively and expeditiously inenvironmental regime complexity. Such phenomenon is caused by the atmosphericpollutant that is also the main driver of anthropogenic climate change, havingeffects on the marine environment as serious as other climate change, havingeffects on the marine environment as serious as other pollutants entering theoceans. As the phenomenon has only recently been assessed in scientificliterature, and much further research remains to be done, there has been littleopportunity for an influential epistemic community of concerned scientist toassemble and raise global awareness of the seriousness of the problem.3 Flowingfrom this, attention is only now being directed to what role internationalenvironmental law can and ought to play in addressing ocean acidification.There are two main environmental regimes appearto have obvious application to ocean acidification – the climate change regimeestablished upon the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC)4 and the marinepollution regime constituted by the UNCLOS that regulate pollution of themarine environment from various sources.
However, while the phenomenon ispartially regulated by both of these principal regimes, or collections ofregimes, it is addressed wholeheartedly by neither. Ocean acidificationtherefore exists in somewhat of an international legal twilight zone, aregrettable position given the serious threat it presents to the ecological integrityof the world’s oceans.5In connection with the legalimplication of ocean acidification by co2 of climate change, after theintroduction, next section discuss the ocean acidification itself by describingthe causes and the consequences. Section 3 will analyze the international lawregimes to address the problem.
Afterwards, this article argue that there is aneed for amendment to the UNCLOS.1 See generally T. Stephens,International courts and environmental protection (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2009).2 See R. Wolfrum and N.Matz, Conflicts in international environmental law (Berlin: Springer,2003). 3 In contrast to the ozonedepletion and climate change that has attracted far more scientific attentionover a longer period, with correspondingly greater impacts upon globalenvironmental regime building.
See generally Peter M. Haas, “BanningChlorofluorocarbons: Epistemic Community Efforts to Protect StratosphericOzone” 46 International Organization (1992), 1. 4 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 9 May 1992, (“UNFCCC”). 5 Rachel Baird, et al, “Ocean Acidification: A LitmusTest for International Law”, Sydney LawSchool Legal Studies Research Paper No.
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