International Commercial Arbitration and Climate Emergency: In Search of “Greener” Times - Chapter 103 - Pro-Arbitration Revisited: A Tribute to Professor George Bermann from his Students Over the Years
Every second counts. In February 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the United Nations, published a dire report on the devastating effects of unbridled climate change. This more than 3,600-page warning concluded, inter alia, that any further delay in concerted global action will result in irreversible impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and vulnerable populations. In this Zeitgeist, a holistic reaction from every actor—spanning not just private companies and States, but the international arbitration community too—is essential to tackle the key challenge of the 21st century.
Hitherto little discussed or addressed by those who practice international commercial arbitration, the issue of climate emergency is no longer being sidestepped. Whether directly or indirectly, recent years have shown that climate change can result in disputes. These are already being brought before numerous arbitral tribunals, and their number has steadily increased. This is perhaps unsurprising since nowadays virtually every commercial contract could have an environmental impact. The inherent features of international commercial arbitration suggest that it is a well-suited forum to address such disputes.