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Research project

How adequately does international law and its actors address ocean acidification?

Ocean acidification (OA), often referred to as the “evil twin of climate change”, has gained attention in recent years. The name alone shows that it is thought of as another side effect of climate change. However, OA is, despite growing scientific research, still insufficiently understood as it is a complex environmental problem touching different spheres (ocean/land/atmosphere). This project explores OA governance and aims to find solutions which can reflect the problem’s scientific reality.

This project has received funding via the EUI ESR call 2022, dedicated to Early Stage Researchers.

Ocean acidification (OA) is a rather recently discovered environmental problem which is and will be endangering the oceanic ecosystem and human wellbeing for years to come. However, since its discovery little seems to be changing on the international plane in order to tackle the issue. This raises the question: How adequately does international law and its actors address this new problem? To approach this question, this research focuses on the governance of OA.

The aim of this project is to map the international and transnational legal landscape for OA and to evaluate the adequacy of current legal frameworks for addressing this pressing global problem.

In order to find a governance solution which can deal with the scientific reality of this complex issue, I am taking an interdisciplinary approach as I, apart from legal considerations, also include a political science framework and rely on the understanding and application of the natural science background of the problem. To correctly link these disciplines together, I recently visited the Center for Environmental Policy & Behavior and the Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Currently, the project focuses on the conduction of two institutional case studies which analyse their role for the governance of ocean acidification.

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