Together, the States agreed on the need for a common vision and common principles to inspire nations across the world and guide their efforts to protect the environment. Towards a Global Pact for the Environment OK, but how? As we all live on the same planet, there must be coordinated action on a global scale to protect the Planet in the long term. So we need a common legal framework that binds States as well as public and private institutions, companies and citizens. This realisation is not a new one:Although no such text exists as of yet, the international legal community has been calling for the adoption of a legally binding international treaty to enshrine the founding principles of environmental law for 30 years. An ambitious project is now underway: The creation of a Global Environmental Pact. What would it change? Who would have responsibilities? What stage of its development are we currently at? To answer these questions, let’s start from the beginning! Global warming, species extinction, deforestation, exhaustion of natural resources, air, soil and water pollution. Given the magnitude of these threats to the environment, we must take action. Time has come to recognize our environmental rights and duties. This is the big bang! The first international conference on the subject of the environment. In 1995, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) proposed the adoption of a global framework convention on environment. To what end? To encourage States to strengthen and progressively develop national and international laws on environmentally sustainable development. Keep global warming below 2°C or even 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement marks a major step forward in terms of climate diplomacy – all countries accepted it at the time, making a commitment to report on their respective actions to reduce greenhouse gases. The optimism surrounding the Paris Agreement gave rise to the idea of a Global Environmental Pact. While the results of COP 21 were promising, they only involve climate, whereas environmental protection also requires measures on pollution, biodiversity, waste, etc. Thus, we need to create a cross-sectoral legal text with an international scope so that action can be taken on all fronts! It is led by the French think tank Le Club des Juristes and consists of around one hundred lawyers from countries in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, including the former president of COP 21, Laurent Fabius. Achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It highlights the increasingly apparent interdependence between long-term economic progress and the need for environmental protection. States It brought together no less than For the first time ever, it mentioned the importance of protecting nature and ecosystems for the very existence of humanity. 1972 10 years later, the United Nations adopted an innovative and highly ethical text. 1982 113 These meetings would be known as “Earth Summits”. At this meeting the world leaders decided to meet founding principles And set out 26 Creating the Pact doesn’t mean starting from scratch! 3 founding texts The World Charter for Nature The Stockholm Declaration As well as a far-reaching anti-pollution action plan every The concept of countries rights and responsibilities with regards to environmental issues is precisely set out in the Declaration adopted at the Rio Earth Summit. 1992 1995 The Rio Declaration 3 major texts, but one huge constraint! The creation of a collective project: A Global Pact for the Environment There is no obligation on States to implement and enforce them. No legal instrument, really? Even though these texts are of great political, moral and symbolic importance and there is now a consensus on the general principles of environmental law they uphold,they still have no legal force! It has inspired many concepts, principles and initiatives, such as: 1987 Signed at COP21, it is the first universal agreement to set climate targets. 2015 For over 30 years, jurists from around the world have been fighting for the creation of an agreed legal framework that is legally binding and universally accepted. The right to a healthy environment Intergenerational equity A draft international covenant The Paris Agreement Max 2017 This is the objective of the International Group of Experts for the Pact. right to live in a healthy environment and the duty to take care of the environment. They advocate the Together, they are working on a draft global project with the following features: Legally binding Applicable and usable to all and by all Facilitates coherency and harmonisation of international environmental law It is structured around a preamble and 20 principles supplemented by 6 articles. In more concrete terms, it is based on : What this entails the right to a healthy environment the duty to take care of the environment The Brundtland Report (or Our Common Future) 2017 The kick-off The first draft of a Pact is presented for the first time at the Sorbonne University in the presence of many public figures committed to protecting the planet such as Laurent Fabius, Ban Ki-Moon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mary Robinson, Anne Hidalgo, Laurence Tubiana, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and Nicolas Hulot. September 19, 2017 Launching the initiative in the UN Emmanuel Macron, the French President, presents the Global Pact for the Environment project to the United Nations. The goal? Convince this intergovernmental organisation of the value of such an initiative. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and many heads of state and government declared their support for the Pact. May, 10 2018 The first round of negotiations Are the Member States of the United Nations General Assembly ready to begin negotiations for a Global Environmental Pact? The answer is yes. By a large majority they adopted a resolution to start the process: 143 States voted in favour, 5 against (the United States, Russia, the Philippines, Syria and Turkey) and 7 abstained. December 3, 2018 Support of the UN UN Secretary-General António Guterres publishes a report recommending that States adopt an instrument similar to the Pact. The reason for this? Gaps in international law regarding the environment. By subscribing to the newsletter By following its progress on social media By visiting our website October 9, 2018 100 jurists call for action In addition to the French President, no less than 100 lawyers from all over the world declare they are in favour of a Global Pact for the Environment. They publish media articles in numerous countries to raise awareness among citizens. June 24, Through the United Nation’s drive, the foundations of international environmental law were laid over 45 years ago: reflected greater global awareness and a willingness to act together to protect the environment. 2019 Sorbonne Call to Action The legal community rallies once again for the Sorbonne Call to Action. They reiterate the urgent need to act for the environment and try to tip the balance in their favour for the third and final UN working session. May 11, And now what? How can you support the Pact? Recent years have seen record temperatures. Biodiversity is still being degraded at a rapid rate, while water, soil and air pollution continues to increase. It is essential to stay engaged to build international foundations to achieve truly sustainable development. The Global Pact for the Environment is currently the only initiative that addresses these issues So that in each State, the legislator has a point of reference in order to draft laws and develop more protective environmental public policies. So that Supreme Courts can draw inspiration from it in order to strengthenthe foundations of global environmental law. For Companies to benefit from a harmonisationof the rules on the international level. Infographic realized in partnership with To strengthen the environmental rights of citizens and NGOs. May 20, 2019 A missed opportunity During the third session of the UN working group on the adoption of the text in Nairobi, the balance did not tip in the Pact’s favour, notably due to the United States, Brazil and Russia. For a text to be adopted by the UN under the so-called "consensus" method, a text must be accepted by everyone, which was not the case this time. Strengthening environmental laws at the national level. Integrating the environment into sectoral policies and programmes at all levels. Strengthening coordination between institutions in the envi-ronmental field. 1 2 3 4 Protecting the environment and repairing environment damages Respecting the precautionary principle Integrating the objectives of sustainable development into public policies Informing citizens and enabling their participation during the process of taking environmental decisions here here here here Nevertheless, the group’s recommendations were endorsed on August 30th 2019 for the promotion of: 2022 Heading to the next Earth Summit in The 50th anniversary of the Stockholm conference in 2022 will be the next opportunity for a big shift. The adoption of a Global Pact for the Environmental is still possible. We have 2 years to make it happen! The requirement to conduct environmental assessment screenings This report, produced by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, is known for its innovative definition of the concept of environmental protection. It also clearly states the need for an agreement that would enshrine principles of environmental protection. sustainable development Sustainable development can be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. 1 2 3 years It was also the first text that both promoted sustainable development and established a level of standards for the rehabilitation of areas degraded by human activity; which must be rehabilitated to become "in line with their natural potential". By talking about it to people around you « un mode de développement qui répond aux besoins des générations présentes sans compromettre la capacité des générations futures de répondre aux leurs »