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Climate Mitigation, Trade and International law: Dr Margaret Young Took Part in HSE St Petersburg's Seminar

Melbourne Law School Associate Professor Dr Margaret Young took part in 'Nationally Determined Contributions to Climate Mitigation, Trade and International Law' seminar recently held at HSE St. Petersburg.

The event was organised on the initiative of the Department of Political Science and the Laboratory for Environmental and Technological HIstory, and Master's Programmes 'Comparative Politics of Eurasia' and Applied and Interdisciplinary History: Usable Pasts, in particular.

Dr Margaret A. Young is not only the Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School, but also the Programme Director of Fragmentation and Regime Interaction in International Law at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH) of Melbourne. She moved to the Melbourne Law School from the University of Cambridge, where she acted as Research Fellow at Pembroke College and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law



The Seminar at HSE University St Petersburg was dedicated to the climate scientists who claim that most oil, gas and coal reserves must remain unexploited to limit global warming increases to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In 2015, some parties in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded the ‘Paris Agreement’, which was aimed at strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change and endorsement the target of a maximum temperature increase by 2°C. Each party was obliged to undertake a range of climate mitigation measures to fulfil its ‘nationally determined contribution’ (NDC) to the global response, as the Agreement has non-prescriptive character about the use of non-renewable energy sources, such as oil, gas and coal, or renewable energy sources.

The Seminar course analysed the legal development in the context of a globalised economy where oil, gas, coal are traded between countries, and governments often provide financial support to the energy production. In contrast to the spirit of Paris Agreement, an estimated subsidies of 444 billion USD are provided by G20 countries for exploration, extraction, and development of fossil fuels per year. Given that the sources of international law involve multiple treaties – the Paris Agreement, the UNFCCC, the World Trade Organization (WTO) – the seminar participants seeked to follow along the international obligations of energy exporting states of  Australia and Russia.


We cordially thank Dr Margaret A. Young for her exceptional presentation at the Seminar on Energy Politics and History, as well as HSE St Petersburg's resident researcher and Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Bogazici University (on photo) Dr Elena Circovic for the event moderation, and all the experts for participation.
Dr Young is an honourable author and researcher in the fields of public international law, international trade law, climate change law, and the law of the sea. The numerous books she wrote, including 'The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities: International, National and Local Law Perspectives on REDD+' (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 'Regime Interaction in International Law: Facing Fragmentation' (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 'Trading Fish, Saving Fish: The Interaction between Regimes in International Law' (Cambridge University Press, 2011) are focused on the issues of climate change. Holding a PhD and LLM (Hons) from the University of Cambridge and a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, Dr Margaret Young became the Director of Studies for Public International Law at The Hague Academy of International Law, and later a visiting professor at the Law Faculty of the St Petersburg State University.
Photography by Dmitry Goncharov