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CLIMATE ASSESSMENT AS AN EMERGING OBLIGATION UNDER CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW

  • Benoit Mayer (a1)

Abstract

Environmental assessment (EA) is established in most countries as a procedure to ensure that administrative authorities are aware of the environmental impacts likely to result from the activities they approve. Many jurisdictions have moved towards including consideration for climate change mitigation in EA. Through a review of the law and practice of various States, this article suggests that such Climate Assessment is now emerging as a norm of customary international law.

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Footnotes

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I am thankful to Neil Craik, Meinhard Doelle and Alexander Zahar for valuable comments.

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References

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1 See generally Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014) 3955.

2 ibid 56–74.

3 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (adopted 9 May 1992, entered into force 21 March 1994) 1771 UNTS 107, art 4.1.

4 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (adopted 11 December 1997, entered into force 11 December 1997) 2303 UNTS 162, art 3.1.

5 Paris Agreement (adopted 12 December 2015, entered into force 4 November 2016) 55 ILM 743, art 4.2.

6 See the interim registry of NDCs, <http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/Pages/Home.aspx>. On the legal value of NDCs as unilateral declarations, see generally B Mayer, ‘International Law Obligations Arising in Relation to Nationally Determined Contributions’ TEL (forthcoming).

7 Corfu Channel Case (UK v Albania) (Merits) [1949] ICJ Rep 4, 22. See also references (n 42).

8 See generally Mayer, B, ‘The Place of Customary Norms in Climate Law: A Reply to Zahar’ (2018) 8(3-4) Climate Law (forthcoming); Mayer, B, ‘The Relevance of the No-Harm Principle to Climate Change Law and Politics’ (2016) 19 Asia-Pacific Journal of Environmental Law 79. See also ILC, ‘Draft Guidelines on the Protection of the Atmosphere’ in ILC Report at Its Seventieth Session, UN Doc A/73/10 (2018) guideline 3. Greenhouse gas emissions are ‘excessive’ when they are not justified by necessity (eg human breathing or a minimal level of industrial development).

9 See Parliament and Council Directive 2003/87, 2003 OJ L275/32 (EC).

10 See in particular California Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based Compliance Mechanisms, Cal. Code Regs. tit. 17 sections 95800sq; Ontario Cap and Trade Program, Reg. 144/16; Quebec Regulation Respecting A Cap-and-Trade System for Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowances, ch. Q-2 r. 46.1.

11 China National Development and Reform Commission, 全国碳排放权交易市场建设方案(发电行业 (Construction Plan of the National Carbon Emission Trading Scheme (Power Sector)) 19 December 2017.

12 See eg World Bank Group, State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2017 (November 2017); Baranzini, A, ‘Carbon Pricing in Climate Policy: Seven Reasons, Complementary Instruments, and Political Economy Considerations’ (2017) 8 WIREs Climate Change e462.

13 See eg Mayer, B, Rajavuori, M and Meng, Fang, ‘The Contribution of State-Owned Enterprises to Climate Change Mitigation in China’ (2017) 7(2-3) Climate Law 97.

14 For instance, CR Sunstein's review of the achievements of the Obama administration on the climate front does not mention important developments with regard to the extension of NEPA review to GHG emissions. See CR Sunstein, ‘Changing Climate Change, 2009–2016’ (2018) 42 Harvard Journal of Environmental Law 231. On the developments in question, see references nn 108 and 109 and accompanying text.

15 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v Uruguay), 2010 ICJ Rep 14, paras 203–210; Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v Nicaragua) and Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v Costa Rica), merits, 2015 ICJ Rep 665, paras 101–105 and 142–162. See also Responsibilities and obligations of States with respect to activities in the Area, Case No 17, Advisory Opinion (ITLOS Seabed Disputes Chamber, 1 February 2011) 50 ILM 458 (2011), paras 141–150.

16 This article does not address the question of the integration of climate change adaptation in EAs. The two questions are often treated together in official documents, but they are conceptually distinct.

17 Sierra Club v Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 867 F.3d 1357 (D.C. Cir.) (22 August).

18 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs (case 65662/2016) [2017] ZAGPPHC 58, [2017] 2 All SA 519 (GP) (8 March).

19 Bundesverwaltungsgericht [Federal Administrative Court] (W109 2000179-1/291E) (2 February). This decision was overturned in Verfassungsgerichtshof [Constitutional Court], E 875/2017 and E 886/2017 (2 August 2017).

20 See Parliament and Council Directive 2014/52, 2014 OJ L124/1, Annex IV para 4.

21 See information on the website of the 37th Annual Conference of the IAIA, <http://conferences.iaia.org/2017/index.php>.

22 See (n 15).

23 ‘Draft Guidelines on the Protection of the Atmosphere’ (n 8) guideline 4.

24 de Jesus, J, What Is Impact Assessment? (IAIA October 2009) <http://www.iaia.org/uploads/pdf/What_is_IA_web.pdf> 1.

25 UNEP, Goals and Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment (16 January 1987) preamble, endorsed by decision 14/25 of the Governing Council of UNEP (17 June 1987) in Report of the Governing Council, UN Doc A/42/25, 77, para 1.

26 NEPA 1969 section 102, 42 USC section 4332(C) (2018).

27 Craik, N, The International Law of Environmental Impact Assessment: Process, Substance and Integration (Cambridge University Press 2008) 5.

28 Robertson v Methow Valley Citizens Council, 490 U.S. 332, 351 (1989).

29 See for instance California Environmental Quality Act, Cal. Pub. Res. Code sections 21000-21189.57 (2017); Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act, Mass. Gen. Law chapter 30, section 61 (2016).

30 See eg UNEP, Assessing Environmental Impacts: A Global Review of Legislation (2018); Morgan, R, ‘Environmental Impact Assessment: The State of the Art’ (2012) 30 Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal 5; H Abaza et al., Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment: Towards an Integrated Approach (2004). See generally Craik, N, ‘Environmental Assessment: A Comparative Legal Analysis’ in Viñuales, JE and Lees, E (eds), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Environmental Law (Oxford University Press forthcoming).

31 See eg NEPA 1969 section 102, 42 USC section 4332(C) (2018); Council Directive 85/337, 1985 OJ L175/40, replaced by Parliament and Council Directive 2011/92, 2012 OJ L26/1; Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 section 52, S.C. 2012, c. 19.

32 See eg 环境影响评价法 (Environmental Assessment Act) 28 October 2002; Ministry of Environment and Forests, ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Notification’ 28 January 1994, revised 14 September 2006 (India).

33 See for instance A Clausen, ‘An Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment System in Vietnam: The Gap between Theory and Practice’ (2011) 31 Environmental Impact Assessment Review 136.

34 See UNGA Res 37/7, ‘World Charter for Nature’ (1982) para 11(c) and 16. EAs were also included in early drafts of the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment but withdrawn from the final version due to objections by developing States. See Rowland, W, The Plot to Save the World: The Life and Times of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (Clarke 1973) 54.

35 ‘Rio Declaration on Environment and Development’ (1992) principle 17.

36 See the draft of a Global Pact for the Environment proposed by an informal group of environmental lawyers <http://pactenvironment.org/> (2017) art 5(3). See also UNGA Res 72/277 (2018).

37 Parliament and Council Directive 2001/42, 2001 OJ L197/30 (SEA).

38 China, EA Act (n 32) arts 7–15. The modalities of application of SEA were adopted by the State Council in 规划环境影响评价条例 (Regulation on Strategic Environmental Assessment), Order No 559 (17 August 2009).

39 Craik, The International Law of EIA (n 27) 4

40 On NEPA, see for instance Knox, JH, ‘The Myth and Reality of Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment’ (2002) 96 AJIL 291, 298.

41 See ‘Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment’ (1972) 11 ILM 1416, principle 21; ‘Rio Declaration’ (n 35) principle 2.

42 See eg Trail smelter (United States v Canada), III RIAA 1905, 1965 (Perm. Ct. Arb. 1941); Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, 1996 ICJ Rep 226, para 29.

43 Mayer, B, ‘Obligations of Conduct in the International Law on Climate Change: A Defence’ (2018) 27(2) Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law 130.

44 See in particular OECD Council Recommendation C(77) 28(Final), ‘Implementation of a Regime of Equal Right of Access and Non-Discrimination in Relation to Transfrontier Pollution’ (1977) annex, principle 3(a), noting that ‘each country should ensure that its regime of environmental protection does not discriminate between pollution originating from it which affects or is likely to affect the area under its national jurisdiction and pollution originating from it which affects or is likely to affect an exposed country’.

45 See Pulp Mills (n 15) para 204; Certain Activities (n 15) para 104.

46 UNEP, ‘Draft Principles of Conduct in the Field of the Environment for the Guidance of States in the Conservation and Harmonious Utilization of Natural Resources Shared by Two or More States’ (1978), 17 ILM 1094 (1978), principle 4.

47 UNEP, Goals and Principles (n 25) principle 11.

48 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (adopted on 10 December 1982, entered into force 16 November 1994) 1833 UNTS 397, art 206.

49 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (adopted 4 October 1991, entered into force 14 January 1998) 30 ILM 1455 (1991).

50 Convention on Biological Diversity (adopted 5 June 1992, entered into force 29 December 1993) 1760 UNTS 79, art 14(1)(a).

51 ‘Espoo’ Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (adopted 25 February 1991, entered into force 10 September 1997) 1989 UNTS 309. The UNECE comprises 56 States located in Europe, Northern America and Central Asia.

52 ibid art 3.

53 ibid art 5.

54 ‘Sofia’ Amendment to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (adopted 27 February 2001, entered into force 26 August 2014) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/4. This provision of the Amendment will be effective until it enters into force for all the Parties that were Party to the Convention in 2001. See Geneva Declaration (June 2014) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/20/Add.3 – ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/4/Add.3, preamble to section B.

55 Espoo Convention (n 51) art 2.7.

56 ‘Kiev’ Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary context (adopted 21 May 2003, entered into force 11 July 2010) 2685 UNTS 140.

57 ibid art 4.2.

58 ibid art 5.

59 ibid arts 6 and 7.

60 ibid art 8.

61 ibid art 10(1).

62 ibid art 10(4).

63 ibid art 23(3).

64 On the relations between treaties and international customs, see generally ILC, ‘Draft conclusions on identification of customary international law adopted in first reading’ in ILC Report at its Seventieth Session, UN Doc A/73/10 (2018) conclusion 11(1)(b); North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany v Netherlands), 1969 ICJ Rep 3, para 76; Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v Serbia), merits, 2015 ICJ Rep 3, para 87; RR Baxter, Multilateral Treaties as Evidence of Customary International Law (1965–1966) 41 BYBIL 275. On their own, the Espoo Convention and its Kiev Protocol do little to suggest the formation of a norm of customary international law, since they remain largely limited to a region (albeit broad) and define obligations on the basis of reciprocity. Yet, these two treaties take place in a context where provisions on EA have been introduced in a number of other treaties of a global scope.

65 ILC, ‘Draft Articles on Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities’ in ILC Yearbook (2001) vol II, Pt two, 148.

66 See Pulp Mills (n 15) para 204.

67 ibid. See also Activities in the Area (n 15) paras 141–150.

68 See Pulp Mills (n 15) para 205.

69 ibid para 216.

70 Certain Activities (n 15) para 101.

71 ibid para 104.

72 ibid para 104.

73 ibid para 229(6) and 220, respectively.

74 See (n 48).

75 See (n 49).

76 ‘Stockholm Declaration’ (n 41) principle 21. See also ‘Rio Declaration’ (n 35) principle 2. See also Nuclear Weapons (n 42) para 29.

77 Activities in the Area (n 15) para 148. See also South China Sea (Philippines v China), PCA case No 2013-19, merits, paras 987–993.

78 See UNGA Res 72/249 (2017) para 2.

79 UNFCCC (n 3) recital 1.

80 See discussion in Mayer, ‘Place of Customary Norms’ (n 8).

81 See ibid recital 9.

82 International Law Association, Resolution 2/2014 ‘Declaration of Legal Principles Relating to Climate Change’ (2014) art 7A.

83 ‘Draft Guidelines on the Protection of the Atmosphere’ (n 8) guideline 3.

84 Mayer, B, ‘The Relevance of the No-Harm Principle to Climate Change Law and Politics’ (2016) 19 APJEL 79; Mayer, B, ‘Construing International Climate Change Law as a Compliance Regime’ (2018) 7 TEL 115; Mayer, B, ‘The Applicability of the Principle of Prevention to Climate Change: A Response to Zahar’ (2015) 5 Climate Law 1.

85 UNFCCC (n 3) art 4.1(f).

86 ibid, second recital; Convention on Biological Diversity (n 50), fourth recital.

87 Convention on Biological Diversity (n 50) 14(1)(a).

88 See Craik, N, ‘Principle 17’ in Viñuales, JE (ed), The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development: A Commentary (Oxford University Press 2015) 451, 458.

89 ‘Draft Guidelines on the Protection of the Atmosphere’ (n 8) Guideline 4.

90 ibid Guideline 1(c).

91 ibid, commentary under guideline 4, para 6.

92 ibid guideline 7. See also ibid, commentary under guideline 4, para 6.

93 See references cited in (n 80).

94 See Statute of the International Court of Justice (adopted 26 June 1945, entered into force 24 October 1945) 3 Bevans 1179, art 38(1)(b); ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) conclusion 2.

95 ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) conclusion 8, para 1.

96 See Peel, J, ‘Environmental Impact Assessment and Climate Change’ in Faure, M (ed), Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Edward Elgar 2016) 348, 251.

97 Center for Biological Diversity v National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 538 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2008). See also Border Power Plant Working Group v. Department of Energy, 260 F. Supp. 2d 997 (S.D. Cal. 2003); Mid States Coalition for Progress v Surface Transportation Board, 345 F. 3d 520 (8th Cir. 2003).

98 Barbone and Ross (on behalf of Stop Stansted Expansion) v Secretary of State for Transport [2009] EWHC 463; R. (on the application of Griffin) v Newham London Borough Council [2011] EWHC 53.

99 Greenpeace New Zealand v Northland Regional Council [2007] NZRMA 87.

100 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (n 18).

101 Australian Conservation Foundation v Latrobe City Council (2004) 140 LGERA 100, paras 43–47.

102 Gray v Minister for Planning and Others [2006] NSWLEC 720. See generally Rose, A, ‘Gray v Minister for Planning: The Rising Tide of Climate Change Litigation in Australia’ (2007) 29 SydLR 725. See also, more recently, Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] NSWLEC 7. But see, by contrast, Coast and Country Association of Queensland Inc. v Smith [2016] QCA 242 (Queensland).

103 Bundesverwaltungsgericht (n 19).

104 Verfassungsgerichtshof 2017 (n 19).

105 See discussion in Gerrard, MB, ‘Climate Change and the Environmental Impact Review Process’ (2008) 22 Natural Resources & Environment 20.

106 See for instance CEQ, ‘Considering Cumulative Effects under the National Environmental Policy Act’ (January 1997), mentioning climate change among other cumulative impacts at 7, 9 and 13.

107 CEQ, ‘Draft Guidance Regarding Consideration of Global Climate Change in Environmental Documents Prepared Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act’ (8 October 1997).

108 CEQ, ‘Draft NEPA Guidance on Consideration of the Effects of Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ (18 February 2010) <https://ceq.doe.gov/docs/ceq-regulations-and-guidance/20100218-nepa-consideration-effects-GHG-draft-guidance.pdf>.

109 CEQ, ‘Revised Draft Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews’, 69 Fed. Reg. 77802 (24 December 2014). See generally Wentz, JA, ‘Draft NEPA Guidance Requires Agencies to Consider Both GHG Emissions and the Impact of Climate Change on Proposed Actions’ (2015) 26 Environmental Law in New York 57.

110 CEQ, ‘Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews’, 81 Fed. Reg. 51866 (5 August 2016) <https://ceq.doe.gov/docs/ceq-regulations-and-guidance/nepa_final_GHG_guidance.pdf>.

111 Exec. Order No 13783, ‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth’ (28 March 2017) section 3(c). See also CEQ, ‘Withdrawal of Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews’, 82 Fed. Reg. 16576-77 (5 April 2017), confirming that ‘the withdrawal of the guidance does not change any law, regulation, or other legally binding requirement’.

112 See San Juan Citizens Alliance v United States Bureau of Land Management, 326 F.Supp.3d 1227 at 1243 and note 5 (D. New Mexico 2018).

113 See AquAlliance v U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 287 F.Supp.3d 969, 1028 and note 31 (E.D. Cal. 2018).

114 The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Assessment, Incorporating Climate Change Considerations in Environmental Assessment: General Guidance for Practitioners (2003) <https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/canada/environmental-assessment-agency/migration/content/a/4/1/a41f45c5-1a79-44fa-9091-d251eee18322/incorporating_climate_change_considerations_in_environmental_assessment.pdf>.

115 See eg Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Considering Climate Change in the Environmental Assessment Process (2017) <https://www.ontario.ca/page/considering-climate-change-environmental-assessment-process> (Ontario); Regulation on Environmental impact assessment and review procedure of certain projects, D. 287-2018 (2018) G.O. II, 1719A (23 March 2018 Quebec) <http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=1&file=68135.pdf>.

116 See Bill C-69, ‘An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts’, as passed by the House of Commons on 20 June 2018. As of February 2019, this bill was still being reviewed by the Senate.

117 Although the EU is not a State, it exercises the powers that EU Member States transferred to it, including the power to develop legal requirements on the conduct of EA.

118 See for instance EU Commission, Guidance on EIA Scoping (June 2001) 24, noting the need to include consideration for how releases from the project could affect ‘[g]lobal air quality including climate change and ozone depletion’.

119 EU Commission, Report on the Application and Effectiveness of the EIA Directive (23 July 2009) COM(2009) 378 final, para 3.5.4.

120 See EU Commission, Guidance on Integrating Climate Change and Biodiversity into Environmental Impact Assessment (2013) <http://ec.europa.eu/environment/EIA/pdf/EIA%20Guidance.pdf>; and Guidance on Integrating Climate Change and Biodiversity into Strategic Environmental Assessment (2013) <http://ec.europa.eu/environment/EIA/pdf/SEA%20Guidance.pdf>.

121 Directive 2014/52 (n 20) Annex IV, para 5(c).

122 See China, EA Law (n 32); SEA regulation (n 38).

123 MEP, 建设项目环境影响技术评估导 (Guideline for technical review of environment impact assessment), HJ616-2011 (2011), para 6.3.2.8.

124 MEP, 规划环境影响评价技术导则 : 总纲 (Technical Guidelines for Strategic Environmental Assessment: General principles), HJ 130-2014 (2014), A6.

125 See Yanan, Wu and Jingming, Ren, ‘Survey and analysis of the status quo of the climate change factors in strategic environmental assessments’ (2014) 3 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society of Environmental Sciences 2010-2016; Wu Hao and Zhang Yixin, 关于中国将气候变化因素融入环境影响评价的探讨 (Discussion of China's integration of climate change factors into environmental impact assessment) (2011) 33(9) Environmental Pollution and Control 91–5.

126 See eg Ying, Chen, Yanan, Wang and Zhansheng, Zhang, ‘Suggestions to response to climate change by environmental impact assessment mechanisms innovation’ (2016) 41(2) Environment and Sustainable Development 1720; Xiangbai, He, ‘Integrating Climate Change Factors within China's Environmental Impact Assessment Legislation: New Challenges and Developments’ (2013) 9(1) Law, Environment and Development Journal 5067.

127 On the relevance of the practice of international organizations to State practice, see ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) conclusion 4, para 2 (‘In certain cases, the practice of international organizations also contributes to the formation, or expression, of rules of customary international law’). This is the case, according to the Commentary, where and inasmuch as member States have conferred power upon the international organization, when the practice of the international organization is consonant with that of the member States.

128 World Bank, ‘Environmental and Social Framework Setting Environmental and Social Standards for Investment Project Financing’ (2016) 61, para 16.

130 See ADB, Safeguard Policy Statement (June 2009) 16, para 2.

131 AIIB, ‘Environmental and Social Framework’ (February 2016) 28.

132 See UNDP, ‘Social and Environmental Standards’ (2014) 20, para 6.

133 ‘The Equator Principles: A Financial Industry Benchmark for Determining, Assessing and Managing Environmental and Social Risks in Projects’ (June 2013) <http://equator-principles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/equator_principles_III.pdf>.

134 Singapore is one of the most prominent examples of a country without any mandatory EA process. See Lye Lin Heng, ‘A Fine City in a Garden: Environmental Law and Governance in Singapore’ [2008] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 68, 109–12.

135 OA Fasina, ‘Environmental Impact Assessment for Oil and Gas Projects: A Comparative Evaluation of Canadian and Nigerian Laws (Master dissertation, University of Western Ontario, 2017).

136 Ministry of Environment and Forests, ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Notification’ (14 September 2006) 4, para 7.II(i).

137 Pandey v India, petition filed in 2017, reported by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law <http://climatecasechart.com/non-us-case/pandey-v-india/>.

138 See Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (1 April 1998) Cap. 499, section 5(6); Environmental Protection Department, ‘Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process’ (16 May 1997) <https://www.epd.gov.hk/EIA/english/legis/memorandum/TM.pdf>.

139 See, however, D Gallacher, ‘Climate Change and Environmental Impact Assessment in Hong Kong’ in Newsletter of the Hong Kong Institute of Environmental Impact Assessment (June 2017) <http://hkiEIA.org.hk/Portals/0/Newsletter/HKIEIA%20Newsletter_201706.pdf>, 1; B Mayer, ‘Hong Kong's Outdated Environmental Impact Law Needs to Move with the Times’ in South China Morning Post (30 March 2018) A11.

140 Environmental Defence Society v Auckland Regional Council [2002] NZRMA 492 (EnvC) para 88. See also Environmental Defence Society Inc. v Taranaki Regional Council, A184/2002 [2002] NZEnvC 441, para 24.

141 Environmental Defence Society v Auckland Regional Council (n 140) para 88.

142 Resource Management (Energy and Climate Change) Amendment Act 2004, Public Act 2004 No 2, section 3(b)(ii). See also Greenpeace New Zealand Inc. v Genesis Power Ltd. [2008] NZS 112, [2009] 1 NZLR 730; West Coast ENT Inc. v Buller Coal Ltd. [2013] NZSC 133; and, generally, C Warnock, ‘Global Atmospheric Pollution: Climate Change and Ozone’ in P Salmon and D Grinlinton (eds), Environmental Law in New Zealand (Thomson Reuters 2015) 789, 813–17.

143 See Genesis Power Ltd. v Greenpeace New Zealand [2008] NZRMA 125 (CA), para 40. An emissions trading scheme was established in 2009. See Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008, Public Act 2008 No 85. The articulation of EAs with market-based mechanisms is discussed below, section IVD.

144 Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan 2018, art 39.2(1). This provision was added to the Environmental Code by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan No 505-IV (2011), which also provided for a carbon market.

145 See Resource Management (Energy and Climate Change) Amendment Act 2004 (n 142) section 6, inserting Resource Management Act 1991, Public Act 1991 No 69, section 70A.

146 See for instance EIA-177/2009, ‘Development of a 100MW Offshore Wind Farm in Hong Kong’ (AEIAR-152/2010, approved 14 May 2010).

147 See for instance EIA-237/2016, ‘Additional Gas-fired Generation Units Project’ (AEIAR-197/2016, approved 7 June 2016).

148 ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) conclusion 9, para 2. See generally the references at (n 94).

149 ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) conclusion 9, para 1.

150 ibid conclusions 11–14.

151 See references cited in notes 66, 67 and 70.

152 ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) conclusion 10, para 2, and conclusion 11, para 1. See generally the references at (n 64).

153 UNFCCC (n 3) recital 10.

154 ibid art 4.1(f).

155 UNGA Res. 70/1 (2015), goal 13.2.

156 ibid art 4.2(a). See also Kyoto Protocol (n 4) art 2.1.

157 Paris Agreement (n 5) art 4.2.

158 By contrast, some biennial reports and national communications under the UNFCCC mention EA as a tool for climate change mitigation. See for instance the UK's Seventh National Communication (December 2017), section 5.4.7; Sweden's third Biennial Report (December 2017), section 3.2.10; Iceland's Seventh National Communication and Third Biennial Report (2018) section 4.2.10.

159 Espoo Convention (n 51) art 1(vii)

160 ibid art 1(viii).

161 UNECE, ‘Guidance on the Practical Application of the Espoo Convention’ (2006) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/8, para 26.

162 See Kiev Protocol (n 56) arts 2.7 and 4.1.

163 UNECE, ‘Report of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on its seventh session and of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on its third session’ (2017) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/23−ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/7, <https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2017/EIA/MOP7/22_12_ece_mp_EIA_23_ece_mp_EIA_sea_7_eng_pdf.pdf> paras 53–62. See also UNECE, ‘Information on panel discussion on the role of the Protocol and the Convention in addressing climate change’ (2017) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/2017/INF.10, <https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2017/EIA/MOP7/REV_1_ECE.MP.EIA.2015.INF.10_Climate_panel_23052017_rev.pdf>.

164 Decision VII/3–III/3 (2017) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/23.Add.1–ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/7.Add.1 <https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2017/EIA/MOP7/09_02_2018_ECE_MP.EIA_23_Add.1_ECE_MP.EIA_SEA_7_Add.1.eng.pdf>. See also Decision VII/7–III/6 (2017) ibid, para 1(a).

165 ‘Minsk Declaration’, in UNECE, ‘Decisions and the Declaration adopted jointly by the Meetings of the Parties to the Convention and the Protocol’ (2017) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/23.Add.1–ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/7.Add.1, <https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2017/EIA/MOP7/09_02_2018_ECE_MP.EIA_23_Add.1_ECE_MP.EIA_SEA_7_Add.1.eng.pdf>, para 9.

166 See B Mayer, ‘Environmental Assessments in the Context of Climate Change: The Role for the UN Economic Commission for Europe’ Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law (forthcoming).

167 See UNCLOS (n 48) art 1.1(4), defining pollution of the marine environment as ‘the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine environment … which results or is likely to result in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life …’ . On the impacts of climate change on the marine environment, see generally IPCC (n 1) 40–4.

168 See (n 50) and accompanying text.

169 See Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v US), merits, 1986 ICJ Rep 14, para 204 (‘a practice illustrative of belief’). On the relation between treaties and the formation of customs, see references cited (n 64).

170 See Military and Paramilitary Activities (n 169) para 208, where the Court notes that the conduct of the United States is ‘justified … on the political level’.

171 ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) commentary under conclusion 9, para 3.

172 See eg Mid States Coalition (n 97).

173 See eg Gray (n 102).

174 Initial NDCs do not extend beyond 2030, whereas infrastructure projects often have a much longer life expectancy.

175 Craik, ‘Principle 17’ (n 88) 458.

176 See eg Pulp Mills (n 15) and Certain Activities (n 15), where the applicant was the State affected.

177 See Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Company, Limited, second phase, ICJ Rep 1970, at 3, para 33; Questions relating to the Obligation to Prosecute or Extradite (Belgium v Senegal), ICJ Rep 2012, at 422, paras 68–69. See also South China Sea (n 77) para 927, implicitly accepting that the Philippines has a right to invoke China's alleged non-compliance with its obligation to protect the marine environment without having to evidence any injury; Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan: New Zealand intervening), ICJ Rep 2014, at 226, where Japan does not seem to have contested that its obligation under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is owed (at least) to all Parties to the Convention, as noted in Crawford, J, ‘Responsibility for Breaches of Communitarian Norms: An Appraisal of Article 48 of the ILC Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts’ in Fastenrat, U et al. (eds), From Bilateralism to Community Interest: Essays in Honour of Bruno Simma (Oxford University Press 2011) 224, 235. But see ILC, ‘Customary International Law’ (n 64) commentary under conclusion 3, para 4, noting that ‘there are different views’ on whether the obligation to protect the atmosphere is an erga omnes obligation.

178 See ILC, ‘Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts’ ILC Yearbook 2001, vol II (Pt Two) art 48.

179 Certain Activities (n 15) para 104.

180 Peel, J, ‘Issues in Climate Change Litigation’ (2011) 2 Carbon and Climate Law Review 15, 16. See also Christopher, CW, ‘Success by a Thousand Cuts: The Use of Environmental Impact Assessment in Addressing Climate Change’ (2008) 9 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 549, 566–8.

181 See (n 165).

182 Most likely the strategy on power generation annexed to China's Five-Year Plans. China's energy sector contributed an estimated 9.5 GtCO2eq, representing close to a fifth of a total of 48.9 GtCO2eq global GHG emissions (including land-use change and forestry) in 2014. See World Resource Institute, ‘CAIT Climate Data Explorer’ (2018) <https://www.wri.org/resources/data-sets/cait-country-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data>. China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) conducts some consultations with stakeholders during the drafting of the five-year plan, though no complete EA process. By contrast, neither the US, nor the EU has a unique, centralized energy policy.

183 Anvil Hill Project Watch Association Inc. v Minister for the Environment and Water Resources [2007] FCA 1480, para 40. See also Xstrata Coal Queensland Pty Ltd v Friends of the Earth [2012] QLC 013, para 605.

184 Genesis Power Ltd. v Greenpeace New Zealand Inc. [2007] NZCA 569, [2008] 1 NZLR 803, para 17.

185 Resource Management (Energy and Climate Change) Amendment Act 2004 (n 142) section 6, inserting Resource Management Act 1991 (n 142) section 70A.

186 See Imperial Oil, ‘Application for the Kearl Oil Sands Project Mine Development’, vol 2 (2005) <http://www.acee.gc.ca/050/documents_staticpost/cearref_16237/KR-0007-2.pdf>, section 4.3, at 4-4.

187 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 1992, S.C. 1992, c. 37, section 34(c).

188 See Joint Panel Review Report, Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited Application for an Oil Sands Mine and Bitumen Processing Facility (Kearl Oil Sands Project) in the Fort McMurray Area (27 February 2007) <https://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/052/document-html-eng.cfm?did=26985>.

189 Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 FC 302, 323 FTR 297.

190 Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, ‘The Government of Canada's Response to the Environmental Assessment Report of the Joint Review Panel on the Kearl Oil Sands Project’ (2008) <http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/052/document-html-eng.cfm?did=26985>. See also Chalifour, NJ, ‘Case Comment: A (Pre)Cautionary Tale about the Kearl Oil Sands Decision’ (2009) 5 McGill Journal of International Sustainable Development Law 251, 263–4; Kruger, T, ‘The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Global Climate Change: Rethinking Significance’ (2009) 47 Alberta Law Review 161.

191 Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, ‘Kearl Oil Sands Project’ (2012) <http://www.acee-ceaa.gc.ca/052/details-eng.cfm?pid=16237>. Inconsistencies in the determination of the significance of GHG emissions appear common in application of Canada's EA legislation. See T Ohsawa and P Duinker, ‘Climate-Change Mitigation in Canadian Environmental Impact Assessments’ (2014) 32 Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 222, 229. See also Bill C-69 (n 116) on the ongoing reform of Canada's EA framework.

192 See Hardin, G, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ (1968) 162 Science 1243.

193 40 CFR 1508.7 (US). See generally UNEP, Goals and Principles (n 25) principle 4(d); Directive 2014/52 (n 20) Annex IV, para 5(c); CEQ, ‘Considering Cumulative Effects’ (n 106); Cal. Code Regs. tit, 14 sections 15064.4(d), 15064(h)(1).

194 See generally Sinclair, AJ, Doelle, M and Duinker, PN, ‘Looking up, down, and Sideways: Reconceiving Cumulative Effects assessment as a Mindset’ (2017) 62 Environmental Impact Assessment Review 183; Gunn, J and Noble, BF, ‘Conceptual and Methodological Challenges to Integrating SEA and Cumulative Effects Assessment’ (2011) 31 Environmental Impact Assessment Review 154.

195 Center for Biological Diversity v NHTSA (n 97) para 22. This echoed the line of reasoning of Justice Stevens in Massachusetts v Environmental Protection Agency (2006) 549 US 497, 524, noting that massive problems such as climate change could not be resolved ‘in one fell regulatory swoop’, but would require a number of incremental steps. See also Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance v Burke, 981 F.Supp.2d 1099, 1110-11 (DC Utah 2013). See generally CW Christopher, ‘Success by a Thousand Cuts: The Use of Environmental Impact Assessment in Addressing Climate Change’ (2008) 9 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 549, 568–90.

196 Environmental Defence Society Inc. v Taranaki Regional Council, A184/2002 [2002] NZEnvC 441, para 22.

197 See for instance IPCC, Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (5 vol. IGES 2006); The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, ‘Policy and Action Standard’ (2014) <https://GHGprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/Policy%20and%20Action%20Standard.pdf>; European Investment Bank, ‘Methodologies for the Assessment of Project GHG Emissions and Emission Variations’ (version 10.1, 2014) <http://www.eib.org/en/about/documents/footprint-methodologies.htm>.

198 ibid para 24.

199 See CEQ, ‘Final Guidance’ (n 110) 11, noting that ‘the extent of the analysis should be commensurate with the quantity of projected GHG emissions’.

200 Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), ‘Climate Change Mitigation & EIA’ (2010) <https://www.iema.net/assets/templates/documents/climate20change20mitigation20and20EIA.pdf> 2.

201 See Craik, ‘Comparative Legal Analysis’ (n 30), documenting thresholds of significance ranging from 10 to 100 KTCO2eq/y; and California Environmental Quality Act: Air Quality Guidelines (May 2010), section 2.2, defining the threshold of significance for land-use development projects at 1.1 KTCO2eq/y.

202 Case C-72/95, Kraaijeveld and others v Gedeputeerde Staten van Zuid-Holland, 1996 E.C.R. I-05403, para 31. See also Case C-227/01, Comm'n v Spain, 2004 E.C.R. I-08253, para 46.

203 40 C.F.R. 1508.25(a) (US).

204 CEQ, ‘Final Guidance’ (n 110) 13. A decade ago, this consensus was not so clear.

205 See also EU Commission, Guidance on EIA Scoping (n 118) 29. See generally Burger, M and Wentz, J, ‘Downstream and Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Proper Scope of NEPA Review’ (2017) 41 HarvEnvtlLRev 109.

206 See Mid States Coalition (n 97).

207 See Sierra Club v Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 867 F.3d 1357 (D.C. Cir.).

208 Border Power Plant (n 97).

209 Gray (n 102) para 33. See also eg Gloucester Resources Limited (n 102); Coast and Country Association (n 102) para 43; Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Proserpine/Whitsunday Branch Inc. v Minister for the Environment & Heritage [2006] FCA 736, (2006) 232 ALR 510, para 43; New Acland Coal Pty Ltd. v. Ashman (No 4) [2017] QLC 24, para 9; Montana Environmental Information Center v U.S. Office of Surface Mining, 274 F.Supp.3d 1074, 1099 (DC Montana 2017).

210 See eg Peel (n 180) 16, noting that, ‘[b]y casting the relevant basis for the assessment of harm as global, defendants seek to argue that GHG emissions are only a small (and by implication, insignificant) contributor to the broader problem of climate change’.

211 See eg Ohsawa and P Duinker (n 191); P Byer et al., ‘Climate Change in Impact Assessment: International Best Practice Principles’ (IAIA 2018).

212 See Environmental Resources Management, ‘HKIA Carbon Emissions Study’ (2014) 4 (based on attribution of GHG emissions at the place where fuels are purchased). See also Environment Bureau, Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2030+ (January 2017) <https://www.enb.gov.hk/sites/default/files/pdf/ClimateActionPlanEng.pdf>.

213 See IEMA (n 200) 1, recommending that EAs ‘give due consideration to how a project will contribute to the achievement’ of legally binding GHG reduction targets. See also CEQ, ‘Final Guidance’ (n 110) 28–9.

214 Center for Biological Diversity v California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 62 Cal.4th 204, 220–1 (Cal. 2015).

215 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (n 18) para 90.

216 Center for Biological Diversity v California Department of Fish and Wildlife (n 214) 226.

217 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (n 18) para 91.

218 See Verfassungsgerichtshof 2017 (n 19).

219 See Verwaltungsgerichtshof [Constitutional Court] VwSlg 18189 A/2011, 24 August 2011 (Austria).

220 UNFCCC (n 3) art 2

221 PA (n 5) art 2.1(a). See generally UNEP, The Emissions Gap Report 2017: A UN Environment Synthesis Report (2017) <https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/22070/EGR_2017.pdf>; UNFCCC decision 1/CP.21 (2015) UN Doc FCCC/CP/2015/10/Add.1, recital 10.

222 See generally Mayer, ‘Compliance Regime’ (n 84); and B Mayer, The International Law on Climate Change (2018) Ch 13.

223 Mayer, ‘Compliance Regime’ (n 84).

224 Mayer, ‘Obligations of Conduct’ (n 43).

225 See Paris Agreement (n 5) art 4(2).

226 See Hsu, Shi-Ling and Elliot, R, ‘Regulating Greenhouse Gases in Canada: Constitutional and Policy Dimensions’ (2009) 54 McGill Journal of International Sustainable Development Law and Policy 463, 503.

227 See IEMA (n 200) 1. See also IEMA and Arup, ‘EIA Guide to Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ (2017) <https://www.iema.net/assets/newbuild/documents/IEMA%20GHG%20in%20EIA%20Guidance%20Document%20V4.pdf> 14.

228 Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, ‘Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866’ (2010). See also Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, ‘Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866’ (2016); and in Canada: Environment and Climate Change Canada, ‘Technical Update to Environment and Climate Change Canada's Social Cost of Greenhouse Gas Estimates’ (2016).

229 High Country Conservation Advocates v U.S. Forest Service, 52 F.Supp.3d 1174, 1190 (D. Colo. 2014). See however Western Organization of Resource Councils v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 2018 WL 1475470 at 14 (D. Montana, March 26, 2018), noting that the omission of an economic valuation did not present a clear error of judgment. See also CEQ, ‘Final Guidance’ (n 110) 32–3, noting that ‘NEPA does not require monetizing costs and benefits.’

230 See eg R Greenspan Bell and D Callan, ‘More than Meets the Eye: The Social Cost of Carbon in U.S. Climate Policy, in Plain English’ (July 2011) <http://www.wri.org/publication/more-meets-eye> 11; W Nordhaus, ‘Critical Assumptions in the Stern Review on Climate Change’ (2007) 317:5835 Science 201; Goodin, RE, ‘Selling Environmental Indulgences’ (1994) 47 Kyklos 573.

231 See UNFCCC (n 3) art 3.1; Paris Agreement (n 5) art 4.3.

232 See eg Directive 2011/92 (n 31) art 6.2; 40 C.F.R. section 1506.6 (2018); China, EA Law (n 32) art 5. See generally Craik, The International Law of EIA (n 27) 31.

233 See J Habermas, Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996); Wiklund, H, ‘In Search of Arenas for Democratic Deliberation: A Habermasian Review of Environmental Assessment’ (2005) 23 Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 281.

234 Craik, ‘Comparative Legal Analysis’ (n 30).

235 See Yuhong, Zhao, ‘Public Participation in China's EIA Regime: Rhetoric or Reality?’ (2010) 22:1 JEL 89; Chi, Cheryl SF, Xu, Jianhua and Xue, Lan, ‘Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment for Public Projects: a Case of Non-Participation’ (2014) 57 Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 1422.

236 See Espoo Convention (n 51) art 3.1; Kiev Protocol (n 56) art 10.1.

237 See Espoo Convention (n 51) art 5; Kiev Protocol (n 56) art 10.3.

238 See Espoo Convention (n 51) arts 2.6 and 3.8; Kiev Protocol (n 56) art 10.4. See also UNECE, ‘Guidance on Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context’ (2006).

239 Contra Boyle, A, ‘Developments in the International Law of Environmental Impact Assessments and their Relation to the Espoo Convention’ (2011) 20(3) Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 227, 231, arguing that the obligation to conduct public consultation established by the Espoo Convention reflects an obligation under customary international law.

240 See ‘Aarhus’ Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (adopted 25 June 1998, entered into force 30 October 2001) 2161 UNTS 447.

241 See for instance UNECE, ‘Fifth Review of Implementation of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (2013–2015)’ (2017) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/2017/9, para 9(b), (c), (e) and (f); UNECE, ‘Second review of implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (2013-2015)’ (2017) UN Doc ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/9, para 9(a) and (d). See generally Schrage, W, ‘The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context’ in Bastmeijer, K and Koivurova, T (eds), Theory and Practice of Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (Brill 2008) 29, 41–3.

242 See for instance Convention on Biological Diversity (n 50) art 14(1)(a), requiring public participation ‘where appropriate’; Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (adopted 2 February 1971, entered into force 21 December 1975), 996 UNTS 245, arts 3.2 and 5, which require notification and assessment but not public participation. See however Antarctic Protocol on Environmental Protection (n 49) Annex I, art 3.3. See K Bastmeijer and R Roura, ‘Environmental Impact Assessment in Antarctica’ in Bastmeijer and Koivurova (n 241) 175, 189–91.

243 ‘Rio Declaration’ (n 35) principle 19. See also ibid principle 10, which relates to public participation, but not in a transboundary context.

244 UNEP, Goals and Principles (n 25) third recital.

245 See ILC, ‘Hazardous Activities’ (n 65) arts 8, 9 and 13, elaborating on notification, consultations and public information, but not on public participation.

246 See draft of a Global Pact for the Environment (n 36).

247 See Pulp Mills (n 15) para 216.

248 ibid para 205.

249 See discussion in Payne, CR, ‘Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay’ in (2011) 105 AJIL 94, 100.

250 Certain Activities (n 15) para 168 (emphasis added). See also ibid para 104.

251 For instance, one such forum is the Global Stocktake process created under Paris Agreement (n 5) art. 14.

252 See notes 248 and 250.

253 Compare with Craik, The International Law of EIA (n 27) 31, according to whom public participation is the ‘soul’ of EIA.

254 See ‘World Bank's Safeguard Policies Review and Update Expert Focus Group on the Emerging Area Climate Change’ (Report) (2013) <https://consultations.worldbank.org/Data/hub/files/meetings/Safeguards_Focus_Group_ClimateChange_MexicoCity_Summary_Final.pdf> 5, noting that benchmarks on GHG emissions ‘should be specific to countries and sectors, responding to their specific needs and circumstances.’

255 Burke, A, ‘Federated States of Micronesia v Czech Republic: Greenhouse Emissions as Transboundary Pollution’ (2011) 14 APJEL 203, 210.

256 Antarctic Protocol on Environmental Protection (n 49) annex I, arts 3.3 and 3.4.

257 UNCLOS (n 48) art 205. See also ibid art 206. International organizations were viewed as a focal point to avoid the excessive burden of reporting to each and every State.

258 Blitza, E, ‘Article 205: Publication of Reports’ in Proelss, A (ed), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary (Bloomsbury 2017) 1364, 1368 (para 11).

259 Convention on Biological Diversity (n 50) art 14.1(c).

260 See Mayer, ‘Environmental Assessments in the Context of Climate Change’ (n 166).

261 See Craik, ‘Comparative Legal Analysis’ (n 30).

262 See generally Yi, Jeonghwa and Hacking, T, ‘Incorporating Climate Change into Environmental Impact Assessment: Perspectives from Urban Development Projects in South Korea’ (2011) 21 Procedia Engineering 907; Wende, W et al. , ‘Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Strategic Environmental Assessment’ (2012) 32 Environmental Impact Assessment Review 88; Enríquez-de-Salamanca, A et al. , ‘Consideration of Climate Change on Environmental Impact Assessment in Spain’ (2016) 57 Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31; Hands, S and Hudson, MD, ‘Incorporating Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Environmental Impact Assessment: A Review of Current Practice within Transport Projects in England’ (2016) 34 Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 330.

263 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (n 18).

264 See T Carnie, ‘Limpopo's Coal-Fired Power Station Gets Green Light’, Business Day (8 February 2018) <https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/energy/2018-02-08-limpopos-coal-fired-power-station-gets-green-light/>. See also Humby, TL, ‘The Thabametsi Case: Case No 65662/16 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v. Minister of Environmental Affairs’ (2018) 30 JEL 145.

265 South Africa's Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, quoted in Carnie (n 264).

266 In most legal systems, Courts refuse to overturn a decision to approve a project where the EA procedure has been respected and all relevant matters have been properly documented, unless the decision is clearly irrational. In English law, for instance, the test cited for judicial review on substantive grounds is often that of ‘Wednesbury irrationality’, as defined in Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223 (CA).

267 Planning Assessment Commission of New South Wales, Development Consent, Wilpinjong Extension Project, Application SSD-6764 (2017), condition 19(b).

268 See Ohsawa and Duinker (n 191).

269 See for instance Hunter Environment Lobby Inc. v Minister for Planning [2011] NSWLEC 221 and Hunter Environment Lobby Inc. v Minister for Planning (No 2) [2012] NSWLEC 40; as well as Gray (n 102); and State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, section 14(2), Reg 65 of 2007.

270 See Paris Agreement (n 5) art 4.19.

I am thankful to Neil Craik, Meinhard Doelle and Alexander Zahar for valuable comments.

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