International Arbitrator, Counsel, Consultant

Arbitration Blog

Topical issues.

A hot summer: Climate Change and Arbitration

We all know the difference between climate and weather, to reuse a well known quote "Climate is what we expect, and weather is what we get" but as we go through another hot summer in Europe, our thoughts must turn to climate change, global warming, and what we, as dispute resolution lawyers, can do.

The take up of the Pledge for Greener Arbitrations has been excellent and I am going to plug it again here - please do sign up and spread the word. Just last week I was contacted by a general counsel who said that because they had signed the Green Pledge they had raised the issue of avoiding hard copies of documents during the arbitration and as a result had seen the volume of unnecessary paper reduce dramatically. The Green Pledge now has a twitter account and also a linkedin discussion group. Do contact me if you would like to get more involved in promoting the message.

I am also working on a paper addressing climate change and arbitration. My practice has involved all types of disputes from renewables to deepwater exploration to fracking (some might say the good, the bad and the ugly). A recent arbitration centred upon the significance of water rights in hydrocarbon extraction which highlighted to me the importances of water conservation. The paper takes a twin track approach to how we, as an international arbitration community, can use our skills to address climate change challenges and adapt our practices to minimise the impact on the environment. As international lawyers we are uniquely placed to influence policy, to advocate for climate change mitigation measures to be adopted and to police enforcement of them, what I term the macro level. At the mico level we can police our own practices to ensure that we are minimizing our impact on the environment as much as possible.