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Sub-Seabed Storage in the Maritime Zones of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention: Equitability over Sovereignty?

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The ocean makes up most of our planet and plays a crucial role in the global climate system. Interfering with this sensitive system is thus very dangerous. At the same time, it is urgent to address climate change. Could sub-seabed storage be the salvation? It is a controversial topic that entails several legal as well as practical issues. At issue from a legal perspective is especially the question whether and in which parts of the ocean states would be allowed to store co2 under the un Convention on the Law of the Sea. Of crucial importance is the question whether sub-seabed storage qualifies as the exploitation of natural resources, because coastal states enjoy certain sovereign rights for these activities. From a practical point of view, the limited experience with sub-seabed storage is particularly challenging. It is impossible to foresee the effects this technique will have on the marine environment, the global climate, and future generations.

Affiliations: 1: The Hanseatic Higher Regional CourtHamburgGermany


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