It is almost commonly accepted that we must keep the increase of global temperature below 2 degrees C and preferably below 1.5 degree C. This begs the question: do states and enterprises have concrete reduction and other obligations to stem the tide? The Oslo Principles, adopted on March 2015, tried to discern the legal obligations of states and to a lesser extent enterprises. The Enterprises Principles will map the legal obligations of enterprises, financiers and long term investors such as pension funds. Both set of principles are based on an interpretation of the law as it stands or will likely develop. This article and Philip Sutherland’s contribution to this volume focus on the core obligations of both the Oslo and the Enterprises Principles. Since the adoption of the Oslo Principles a lot has happened. This contribution also discusses a few key features of the Oslo Principles in light of these developments.
Jaap Spier is the reporter of the Oslo Principles and author of the commentary on the Enterprises Principles. In particular the discussions with and input from Michael Gerrard, Thomas Pogge, Jim Silk and Philip Sutherland greatly contributed to final version of both the OP and the commentary. The commentary on the EP greatly benefitted from many in-depth discussions with and input from in particular Brian Preston and Philip Sutherland. Daniël Witte and I have discussed at length all important topics of the successive versions of the commentary; together we have discussed the draft principles with major players of the ‘real world’. Daniël’s input has been immensely valuable. The author was requested by the editors of JETL to write about both sets of principles at the occasion of the Yearbook conference in Vienna in April 2017. This article does this by building on Philip Sutherland’s contribution to the conference.
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston