Following previously reported draft resolutions and consultations, on 20 February 2023, the ICJ Core Group of Nations, led by the Republic of Vanuatu, released a Final Draft Resolution entitled, Request for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the obligations of States in respect of climate change, for consideration of co-sponsorship by 1 March 2023. Adoption by the UN General Assembly is expected to be sought by proponents in March/April 2023. The operative provision would request an ICJ advisory opinion on the following question:
Having particular regard to the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the duty of due diligence, the rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principle of prevention of significant harm to the environment, and the duty to protect and preserve the marine environment,UNGA Draft Resolution (20 February 2023), Request for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the obligations of States in respect of climate change
(1) What are the obligations of States under international law to ensure the protection of the climate system and other parts of the environment from anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases for States and for present and future generations;
(2) What are the legal consequences under these obligations for States where they, by their acts and omissions, have caused significant harm to the climate system and other parts of the environment, with respect to:
(a) States, including, in particular, small island developing States, which due to their geographical circumstances and level of development, are injured or specially affected by or are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change?
(b) Peoples and individuals of the present and future generations affected by the adverse effects of climate change?”
Informal translations of the final Resolution are available in French, Spanish and Portuguese on the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative website.