Requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the Obligations of States in respect of Climate Change

Document Type : Original Article


PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Allameh Tabataba’i University.


The approval of UN General Assembly resolution 77/276 with the initiative, pioneering and efforts of the small island State of Vanuatu and requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice shows that states have not fulfilled their obligations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, the adverse effects of climate change require attention and action at the national, regional and global levels. This resolution requests the International Court of Justice to provide an advisory opinion based on international law on the obligations of states in relation to climate change and its legal consequences for states that have caused significant damage to the climate system. Despite the fact that the advisory opinions of the ICJ are not binding, they can help to clear the ambiguities about the nature of obligations and their consequences, develop international law, maintain peace and strengthen peaceful relations between states.