December 19, 2011

In Memorium Günter Heine

Filed under: INECE Secretariat — inece @ 2:25 pm

We sadly report that a great academic who did some pioneering work in the domain of environmental compliance and enforcement passed away on 25 June 2011 at the age of 59.  Prof. Dr. Günter Heine was one of the icons of environmental compliance and enforcement; he managed in the 1980s and 90s a major comparative project on the question whether the environment should be protected through the criminal law within the framework of the Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg-im-Breisgau (Germany).

Günter Heine had an impressive academic career. He studied both law and political and social sciences at the University of Tübingen and graduated in both disciplines. He was assistant to prof. Dr. Albin Eser when he taught at the University of Tübingen and later followed prof. Eser when the latter became director of the Max Planck Institute for Criminal Law in Freiburg. From 1982 until 1994, he worked at this Max Planck Institute where he was coordinator of the prestigious project on environmental criminal law. This was a pioneering study since at that moment the question whether the criminal law should be used to protect the environment was hardly studied at all. Many scholars worked with him at the Max Planck Institute, were inspired by his thoughts and later also became leading experts in their own country, pursuing the idea that the criminal law has a task in protecting the environment.

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December 8, 2011

Defining the Shape of Compliance at the Durban Climate Talks

Filed under: climate — inece @ 11:46 pm

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are meeting in Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9, 2011, to discuss the future of collective action by the nations of the world to curb climate change.  Most relevant to environmental compliance and enforcement practitioners are negotiations concerning (1) national reporting, (2) rules for accounting for emissions offsets from forestry practices, and (3) accountability mechanisms relating to the provision of support for developing countries.

Parties to the UNFCCC recognize that the international community cannot monitor compliance with commitments without trustworthy information on countries’ mitigation and support activities.  Much of what needs to be accomplished in Durban focuses on rules relating to the content, accuracy, transparency, completeness, and comparability of information that countries will be required to report.

COP17 negotiations will cover two types of topics that are critical to the integrity of information on emissions, mitigation actions, and provisions of support.  The first concerns the form and content of nationally provided data, consisting of annual greenhouse gas inventories, national communications, and biennial reports.  The second area of concern focuses on a framework for ensuring that countries are up to the task of reliably providing this information.  These procedures consist of international assessment and review (IAR) for developed countries and international consultation and analysis (ICA) for developing countries.  Together, these measures comprise the framework for measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) that is the central mechanism for ensuring compliance.

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