The Earth’s Atmosphere as a Global Trust: Combatting Climate Change through Negative Emissions and a Legal Trust or Fiduciary Liability Regime

| May 23, 2018 | Leave a Comment

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Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Recent

Year of Publication: 2017

Author(s): Thomas Boudreau

Journal: Environmental and Earth Law Journal

Volume: 7(1)

Pages: 39-104


Establishing proportionate state responsibility to maintain, restore and sustain the global atmosphere

Thomas Boudreau argues it is time to recognize the Earth’s Atmosphere as a global trust and move forward with the creation of a binding international treating that treats it as such.

“As we shall see, the legal status of all of the Earth’s other Commons—the Oceans, near Outer Space, and Antarctica have been recognized in explicit and sometimes contested treaties or conventions. Only the Earth Atmosphere as a whole has no binding international treaty that recognizes it as a Global Trust or part of the Common Heritage of Humanity for present and future generations.”

ABSTRACT: Expanding upon the important work already accomplished by the Paris Agreement (2015), the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) can help create the international legal framework needed by recognizing, in a nonbinding resolution as a first step, the Earth’s atmosphere as a global trust and thus helping to create the necessary legal capacitybuilding among nation-states to monitor, maintain as well as restore the Earth’s atmosphere for future generations.

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Arnold Byron

    I m glad I found your article on establishing on a global scale the common ownership of Earth’s atmosphere. I am a champion of common ownership. I am convinced that the world could be made a better place if basic human needs such as communications, food production and energy production were made a part of the commons. Doing so would necessitate the establishing of more nonprofit cooperatives and nonprofit corporations and fewer for-profit companies.
    I want to take this opportunity to communicate some specific thoughts. These thoughts relate to how we – the people with ideas but very little clout – can take positive steps toward saving humanity from a path to destruction. I have some very good ideas pertaining to overpopulation, global warming and how humanity can save itself. The problem is that there is no one to whom I can take my ideas.
    The nations of the world need to create an office. Further, the nations need to give that office all of the authority, wherewithal, support and protection to save humanity from global warming, I have devised a plan to create such an office. My outline is explained in articles that I have posted to this MAHB blogsite. You can find them under the title A Plan for the Nations; A Plan for the Nations – Step 2; and A Plan for the Nations – Step 3.
    I am writing to hopefully gain your assessment of my ideas as expressed in the above blog posts. I notice the names of the individuals who are associated with this particular article are Dwayne O. Andreas from Barry University School of Law, and yourself from Salisbury University. The reason why the preceding sentence is important is because it references universities and law departments of universities. The reason why universities and law departments are important is that my plan is based on the participation of universities and that law departments are central to my plan.
    I would suggest that you look at the Step 2 and Step 3 articles first.
    I need to apologize because I have not expressly commented on your pertinent, timely article about the atmosphere and the commons. My comment, with a little light-hearted humor, is to say, “I agree completely with the notion of cementing the atmosphere into the commons.”
    I would be happy to exchange contact information. Perhaps that could be done through the MASHB communications office. Thank you for any consideration you may give my requests.