Coherence, alignment and integration: understanding the legal relationship between sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
International law can play an important role in promoting national, regional and international actions to tackle the human impacts of climate change and disasters. Of note, 2015 saw the adoption of three interconnected normative frameworks: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One may therefore be tempted to view this body of international norms, rules and standards as a comprehensive and unified system. Yet the increasing complexity and specialisation of different international legal regimes has led to concerns regarding a confusing fragmentation of international law. This chapter will therefore examine the relationship between the three topics of sustainable development, climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) from a legal perspective. The chapter will commence with a discussion of the legal status of different international instruments, before providing a textual analysis of the language used by states, the UN, NGOs and other actors in the relevant documents. We then propose an ‘hourglass’ model of the legal relationships between these three different international frameworks based on: systemic coherence at the international level; vertical alignment between the international, regional and national levels; and horizontal integration of international norms at the domestic level. To support this proposal, examples will be provided from the Pacific Island Countries (PICs), drawing on research undertaken through the IRC-MSCA CAROLINE project ‘Leave No One Behind: Developing Climate-Smart/Disaster Risk Management Laws that Protect People in Vulnerable Situations for a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Agenda 2030.’
Coherence , International law , Fragmentation , Pacific Island Countries
Cubie, D. and Natoli, T. (2022) 'Coherence, alignment and integration: understanding the legal relationship between sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction', in Flood, S., Jerez Columbié, Y., Le Tissier, M. and O'Dwyer, B. (eds.) Creating Resilient Futures - Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change Adaptation Agendas. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45-64. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-80791-7_3
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