Humanity has entered a new biological era: the Anthropocene. This term, originally proposed by the American biologist Eugene F. Stoermer, was popularized in the early 2000s by the Nobel chemistry laureate Paul Crutzen. It refers to the time in which the action of man is likely to cause bio-geophysical changes on a global scale. Humans, masters of the planet, are now able to influence climate and biodiversity due to accelerated accumulation of greenhouse gases and irreversible damage caused by overconsumption of natural resources. The health and environmental risks to the planet have reached the point that the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) announced, in its report on 8 October 2018, that humanity has a few years left to act in order to preserve the conditions for life on Earth. This report is significant as, for the first time, the world’s leading experts on climate issues (the IPCC, established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the main international body responsible for assessing climate change) have clearly indicated that the protection of the planet requires immediate and effective action on the basis of available scientific data. Waiting would mean reducing, or even extinguishing, our chances of survival. From a legal perspective, climate change can become the lever facilitating the renewal and integration of legal systems, or it can be reduced to a threat, ever more imminent, which reflects the inability of decision-makers to act. It is up to us, todays lawyers and citizens, to undertake this Copernican revolution. The fight against climate change is still possible, but it requires, as the IPCC emphasised, efforts that are unprecedented in human history.
If you are one of these lawyers and citizens and you want to contribute to the reflection on climate change from a European perspective, do not hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and a proposal for publication of around 300 words. Your contribution can be in English or French, and can take the form of a post (1000 words) or of a working paper (10-12 pages, Times 12, incl. footnotes) which covers any of the various components of climate change and the plurality of actors involved or affected by its occurrence from a European perspective.
Please note that this initiative is not isolated, but it is part of a larger project on a global scale (Covering climate know) started by the Columbia Journalism Review, the Guardian and The Nation which now includes a large number of journals, magazines, scientists and high-level institutions around the world, all committed to fight climate change by sharing and developing knowledge around this subject.
Alessandra Donati & blogdroiteuropéen