resources. The group of nations comprising the East African
Community, and their struggle with water management, provides
a further example of how regional action is a fundamental asset
in the ﬁght against global climate change.
So too does this issue address the domestic front. It examines
the role of the nation’s courts in achieving progress in climate
law. As cap-and-trade gains traction, the issue advocates that
such frameworks should be structured in a way that promotes
and ensures environmental justice in vulnerable communities.
It also calls for carbon sequestration governance to honor the
polluter pays principle and maximize liability for potentially
At each level, this issue seeks to advance climate change
law and policy. While this year may have seen global awakening
and an all-inclusive commitment toward uniform global action,
the climate regime still has much room for growth. As the inter-
national community embarks on this arduous process, the fate
of the climate regime and, in turn, the planet lies in the hands of
climate scientists, policy makers, and lawyers.
2SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT LAW & POLICY
In many ways, the year 2011 represents a global awakening.
As the Arab spring swept across Northern Africa and the
Middle East, one state after another overthrew its regime
in hopes of gaining the freedoms of choice and expression.1 In
the wake of the Japanese Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, the world
learned that energy development ought not only work to satisfy
demand and national security, but should take equal account
of long-term sustainability and safety.2 Against this back-
drop, the year ended with 195 State Parties attending the 17th
Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention
on the Framework for Climate Change.3 The resulting Durban
Package will bring all greenhouse-gas emitting nations under a
new legal regime by 2015, with the purpose of cutting emissions
no later than 2020.4 And while the unprecedented agreement
takes a ﬁrst step toward a future, comprehensive, and binding
agreement, ultimately, the Durban outcome also leaves much
to be desired.
This annual SDLP Climate Law Reporter once again takes
stock of climate change law and policy in an attempt to provide
the ever-growing climate community with a central source
of relevant and vanguard articles. This issue dives into the issue
at each level, surveying the progress and prospects of climate
change governance on the international, regional, and domestic
On the international stage, included articles reveal that the
course forward from Durban needs to unequivocally deﬁne the
obligations of each nation, take the issue of equity into account,
and improve mechanisms to ensure commitment accountability.
As the international community sets out on this new path, the
focus of climate law and policy practitioners must be mindful
of this global effort.
However, as outlined by other selections in this issue,
regional governance is equally important in this effort. As
Himalayan glaciers face alarming melting rates, states ought
to adopt regional mechanisms to better monitor and manage
the fallout. In the vulnerable coral reefs of the South Paciﬁc,
regional knowledge sharing and management between govern-
ments could be the key to protecting these fragile, rich marine
15 | AN UN-CONVENTIONAL APPROACH: ECUADOR’S
YASUNÍ-ITT INITIATIVE IS IN DISCORD WITH THE
by Ryan Haddad
25 | THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL:
FIT FOR HYDROFLUROCARBONS
by Veronica Kennedy
32 | RECOGNITION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CARBON
CREDITS UNDER CALIFORNIA’S NEW GREENHOUSE
GAS CAP-AND-TRADE PROGRAM
by John Monterubio
38 | OFFSETTING PROGRAMS: STRUGGLING TO FIND
AN EQUITABLE SOLUTION INTERNATIONALLY
by Silvia Fejka
45 | AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH FOR ADDRESSING
CO2-DRIVEN OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
by Verónica González
1 Harriet Barovick et al., Revolution Meets Reality, TIME, Mar. 28, 2011.
2 Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop, Southeast Asian Nations Look at Nuclear Power,
N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 27, 2011.
3 UNFCCC, Durban Climate Change Conference - November/December
2011, http://unfccc.int/meetings/durban_nov_2011/meeting/6245.php (last
visited May 1, 2012).
4 UNFCCC, Establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban
Platform for Enhanced Action, U.N. Doc. FCCC/CP/2011/L.10 (Dec. 10, 2011).
Braunson Virjee Chelsea Tu