David A. Wirth

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David A. Wirth is Professor of Law at Boston College Law School. He is former Attorney-Adviser for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the State Department, where he had principal responsibility for all international environmental issues. David a graduate of the Yale Law School and served as law clerk to Judge William H. Timbers of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is the author of more than 6 dozen books and articles on international law, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Climate Change and Security

While Trump Pledges Withdrawal from Paris Agreement on Climate, International Law May Provide a Safety Net

International law, developed over centuries of interactions among nations with leaders with egos and agendas at least as large as Donald Trump’s, has evolved precisely to ensure continuity among the community of states and to moderate the effect of major disruptions such as Trump’s recent announcement. If these mechanisms are utilized as intended by both domestic and international constituencies, the planet and the climate may yet survive Trump’s frontal assault.

Climate Change and Security

Trump’s First Foreign Trip and the Fate of the Paris Agreement: Reading the Tea Leaves from the G7 and NATO Summits

President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris Agreement, and his subsequent statement that he has an “open mind” on the question, will now be transported to the multilateral stage in a setting of high politics.

International Law

Is the Paris Agreement on Climate Change a Legitimate Exercise of the Executive Agreement Power?

The Paris Agreement on climate change, concluded last December and signed on Earth Day, April 22 this year, has become the latest episode in the long-running tug of war between President Obama and the present Congress over executive power.