Blogging the Copenhagen Climate Talks and Climate Finance, More Generally

Blogging the Copenhagen Climate Talks and Climate Finance, More Generally

As the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen enters its crucial week, we will be joined by a few guests who will be blogging about the climate talks, sometimes from Copenhagen itself.

Dan Bodansky of the University of Georgia (and soon to be of Arizona State University) and the author of the book The Art and Craft of International Environmental Law has already sent us a post from Copenhagen (as well as this post and this post from the Barcelona run-up to Copenhagen). We look forward to his further observations.

We are also looking forward to contributions this week from Andrew Guzman of Berkeley Law, co-author (with Jody Freeman) of the recent article Sea Walls are Not Enough: Climate Change and U.S. Interests and author of the forthcoming book Climate Change and the Apocalypse (my kudos on the choice of title). readers may remember that we have previously hosted a book discussion of Andrew’s book How International Law Works.  We welcome him back. 

Finally, we are pleased to have five contributors from the new book Climate Finance: Regulatory Funding and Strategies for Climate Change and Global Development (NYU Press 2009).  The book can be downloaded from the International Climate Finance page of NYU’s Institute for International Law and Justice. The co-editors of the volume Benedict Kingsbury, Richard Stewart, and Bryce Rudyk will all be joining us, as will contributors Arunabha Ghosh and Nathaniel Keohane. I know that at least Benedict and Bryce are at Copenhagen, and I would not be surprised if some of their other colleagues are there as well. 

Benedict Kingsbury is Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice at NYU School of Law. He has written extensively on trade-environment disputes, the United Nations, and interstate arbitration and the proliferation of international tribunals.

Richard Stewart directs NYU’s Center on Environmental and Land Use Law and Global Law School Program. He has formerly served as Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Justice, and as Chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Bryce Rudyk is Coordinator of the International Climate Finance Project and Research Fellow at the Center for Environmental and Land Use Law at NYU School of Law. His research focuses on financing climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Arunabha Ghosh is Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton; Associate at the Global Economic Governance Programme, Oxford (see this resource guide to climate change governance issues); and Faculty Associate at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford. He previously worked as Policy Specialist at UNDP’s Human Development Report Office in New York, where he authored the 2006 HDR and co-authored the 2005 and 2004 editions.

Nathaniel Keohane is Director of Economic Policy and Analysis at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law. He has published articles on environmental economics in numerous academic journals, and is the co-author of Markets and the Environment.

Their Climate Finance project provides some much-welcome “brass tacks” considerations on the financing and regulatory issues of climate change governance. Here’s the short description:

Preventing risks of severe damage from climate change not only requires deep cuts in developed country greenhouse gas emissions, but enormous amounts of public and private investment to limit emissions while promoting green growth in developing countries. While attention has focused on emissions limitations commitments and architectures, the crucial issue of what must be done to mobilize and govern the necessary financial resources has received too little consideration. In Climate Finance, a leading group of policy experts and scholars show how effective mitigation of climate change will depend on a complex mix of public funds, private investment though carbon markets, and structured incentives that leave room for developing country innovations. This requires sophisticated national and global regulation of cap-and-trade and offset markets, forest and energy policy, international development funding, international trade law, and coordinated tax policy.

Thirty-six targeted policy essays present a succinct overview of the emerging field of climate finance, defining the issues, setting the stakes, and making new and comprehensive proposals for financial, regulatory, and governance mechanisms that will enrich political and policy debate for many years to come. The complex challenges of climate ­finance will continue to demand fresh insights and creative approaches. The ideas in this volume mark out starting points for essential institutional and policy innovations.

Remember, you can download the book free of charge from here.

We at Opinio Juris are excited that such a distinguished and varied group of experts will be with us over the next week. We encourage our readers to weigh-in with questions and comments.

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Earthship Biotecture


– Michael Reynolds
Earthship Biotecture


It should be really interesting to see which direction these talks head in.  Climate change hasn’t seemed to get much favorable press in the last few weeks.

Kenneth Anderson

Wow, what an impressive lineup!  Thanks to all our guest-bloggers for joining us.

M. Gross
M. Gross

Yes, I’m looking forward to the coverage.

Ernesto Hernández-López
Ernesto Hernández-López


Chapman University faculty, including international law prof Deepa Badrinarayana, are also blogging from Copenhagen (COP15), see


[…] at Opinio Juris this week, a special lineup of international law experts blogging on Copenhagen — addressing topics ranging from proposals to pay for things to the questions of how whatever […]

Hannah Zuo
Hannah Zuo

In the Copenhagen Conference, it seems that what the developing countries are sticking to is the “common but differentiated responsibilities” principle, urging the developed countries to provide them with proper financial and technical assistance. Developing countries like China, India and Brazil take the position that there should be recognition of their proverty problems and needs of economic growth, therefore the developing countries’ interests cannot be sacrificed for the agreement.
However, on the other hand, the very important financing system is still unclear.
Looking forward to what’s going to happen.