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Palau, Marshall Islands to Seek Advice from World Court on GHG Impacts

22 September 2011: The Governments of Palau and the Marshall Islands have called upon the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to seek, on an urgent basis, an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the responsibilities of States under international law to ensure that activities carried out under their jurisdiction of control that emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) do not damage other States.

The announcement was made by Palau's President Johnson Toribiong during the general debate of the 66th session of the UNGA. Toribiong said urgent action to combat climate change is vital, and that the ICJ has already “confirmed that customary international law obliges” States to ensure activities within their jurisdiction “respect the environment of other States.” Toriniong underscored it was time to determine what the “international rule of law means in the context of climate change.” [UN Press Release] [Toribiong's Statement]