Development of Market Mechanisms Under International Law to Advance Sustainable Development: An Analysis of the Frameworks Related to Climate Change and Biodiversity

Change log
Phillips, Freedom-Kai 

Achievement of sustainable development in light of ongoing climate change and biodiversity pressures benefits from the deployment of innovations that foster engagement and uptake across all levels, mobilises finance flows commencement to the scale of the challenge, and enables the dissemination of transition solutions that support the low carbon economy. This research investigates the relationship between the legal architecture of market mechanisms under international law and the role of private actors, and how this contributes to sustainable development. Through an exploration of how market mechanisms under the climate change and biodiversity regimes have achieved environmentally sound outcomes, been advanced in sectoral approaches, and facilitated via bilateral and multilateral trade and investment relationships, important insights are identified regarding the composition of effective law and governance architectural approaches.

Leveraging experiences derived from treaty practice viewed through an interactional account of international law, this assessment elucidates the important role played by alignment of legal regimes, robust transparency measures, and complementary schemes such as stakeholder-endorsed certifications in buttressing the established measures to ensure sustainable development outcomes and contributes to understanding the role of private actors in the operationalisation of environmental agreements. Research findings suggest it is the interaction of norms across the international legal architecture, informed by relationships within and across relevant treaty systems and the general corpus of international law, and actualised through engagement with private actors as a component of market mechanisms that provides the opportunity for congruence of practice, forging of shared understandings, and normative internalisation and ownership among communities of practice that stimulates both innovative solutions and ambitious action.

Gehring, Markus
Biodiversity, Climate Change, International Law, Market Mechanisms, Sustainable Development
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge
SSHRC Doctoral Fellow (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council -SSHRC) Tammy Chen Memorial Scholar (Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund - CCSF) Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship (Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge)