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The International Battle Against Climate Change - International Summit

Sep 14, 2007

Further information

The survival of the orang-utan, whose habitat is being destroyed to make way for biofuel crops, is under the spotlight at an international summit on the law and climate change next weekend (September 21-23).

The key question is: how can we make law more effective to prevent the current mass extinction of species that will dramatically increase if we do not stop runaway global warming? Environmental lawyers, regulators, decision-makers, environmental NGOs and students will focus all their efforts on the issue at the top of the political agenda. They aim to understand how “Wild Law”, which is rapidly developing as an international movement for change, might be applied in practice.

The UK Environmental Law Association, the Environmental Law Foundation and the Gaia Foundation, have joined in organising the event in Derbyshire. By making sure the debate happens, they hope to explore the practicalities associated with the “Wild Law” concept.

Andrew Kimbrell, who successfully took on the US Environmental Protection Agency to get them to regulate carbon emissions, will be there to discuss how current legal models fail to deliver the protection needed.

He is joined by Cormac Cullinan, the South African laywer, who wrote the book, “Wild Law”(2), explaining how the basis of law needs changing if we want to stop unprecedented environmental destruction.

Peter Roderick, of the UK’s Climate Justice Programme, will be talking about the seven key cases which are paving the way for change – four in the US and Australia, both of which refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions.

“This is a really interesting issue and we are very fortunate in having some of the leading environmental lawyers from around the world to lead this debate”, said Daniel Lawrence chair of UKELA. “There would have to be a major shift in legal concepts in order for the ‘wild law’ concept to take root and this is an opportunity to discuss how that might work in practice.’

Notes to the editors:

1. UKELA is the UK forum which aims to make the law work for a better environment and to improve understanding and awareness of environmental law. UKELA’s members are involved in the practice, study or formulation of Environmental Law in the UK and the European Union. It attracts both lawyers and non lawyers and has a broad membership.
2. “Wild Law, A Manifesto for Earth Justice”, by Cormac Cullinan, argues that we need to change our legal and political systems if we are to stop environmental destruction. Many of the treaties, laws and policies of recent years have failed to slow down, let alone stop, this process and a radical rethink is needed. Wild Law argues that humans are not superior in nature but are part of the earth's community, all parts of which have equal rights.
3. Interviews with the speakers can be arranged. Please contact Vicki Elcoate (see below).

UK Environmental Law Association - Better law for the environment
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Registered office: One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX

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