Climate is a Common Heritage. Not just a Concern.
Paulo Magalhães |
• March 2021
What is actually the most important? Commodities extracted from nature or a climate that is stable and able to sustain human life? The work made by nature that produced and maintain as stable climate is invisible to the economy and therefore only a critical legal innovation can recognize its true value. Almost 30 years after the “adverse effects of climate change” being considered as a common concern of humankind, there has been no consensus on what this means from a legal standpoint. Even though this remains the legal framework of the Paris agreement, there is today no official definition of this approach. Nonetheless, it influenced how we are trying to solve the problem of climate change, and is inevitably linked to the results (or the lack thereof) achieved in this fight. To change this paradigm of destruction Paulo Magalhães, researcher in law at the University of Porto and founder of the non-profit Common Home for Humanity, proposes a new legal status of the climate based on the ‘common heritage’ legal concept, making it possible to reward those who care for and restore ecosystems and reduce CO2 in the atmosphere for the benefit of humankind, and to overcome the deadlock of the current climate policy that is exclusively based on mitigation and neutralization.