Slowing Down Climate Change: Combining Climate Law and Climate Science to Identify the Best Options to Reduce Emissions of Short-lived Climate Forcers in Developing Countries

The ClimaSlow project is funded by the European Research Council in 2017-2021.

The Principle Investigator is Professor Kati Kulovesi. Other participating CCEEL members are Senior Researcher Dr Yulia Yamineva and PhD Researcher Veera Julia Pekkarinen. The ClimaSlow project also involves the UEF Atmospheric Aerosol Physics research group. Participating group members include Professor Kari Lehtinen, Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Thomas Kühn and PhD Researcher Tuuli Miinalainen.

The project can be followed on Twitter as @ClimaSlowERC.

More information about the project, including the first publications, will be added during the first months of 2018.

The ClimaSlow project opens new interdisciplinary horizons to identify the best opportunities to strengthen the global legal and regulatory framework for reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), with particular attention to developing countries as projected key sources of future SLCP emissions. It starts from the assumption that strengthening the global legal and regulatory framework for SLCPs would bring important benefits in terms of slowing down climate change and reducing local air pollution. However, legal and regulatory options to step up action on SLCPs have not been studied comprehensively. Furthermore, the climate impacts of the various options are not adequately understood.

In contrast to traditional legal analysis that would focus on one legal system or instrument, the project will study the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks comprehensively, considering the international, regional, national and transnational levels. It will seek to identify various options, both formal legal instruments and informal regulatory initiatives, to strengthen the global legal and regulatory frameworks applicable to SLCPs. In addition to providing information on best options to regulate SLCPs, this novel, comprehensive approach will help scholars to improve their understanding of the implications of ongoing changes in global legal landscape, including its presumed fragmentation and deformalisation.

Addressing an important gap in current knowledge, the project will combine analysis of the merits of the various legal and regulatory options with estimates of their climate change impacts on the basis of climate modelling. By doing so, it will be able to identify the alternatives that are the most promising both from the legal point of view and in terms of climate change mitigation potential. The project will generate information that is policy-relevant and context-specific but can simultaneously provide broader lessons and open new interdisciplinary horizons.

Most ClimaSlow members at a meeting in June 2018. L-R: Veera Julia Pekkarinen (PhD researcher, law), Prof. Kati Kulovesi (PI), Prof. Kari Lehtinen, Dr Thomas Kühn (aerosol physics) and Tuuli Miinalainen  (PhD researcher, aerosol physics).