Climate law at national level

The 2023/24 Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort will focus on five key themes, each supported by an academic theme lead.

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Climate governance at national level is key to the delivery of a state’s nationally determined contributions to climate change adaptation and mitigation. While target-setting and accountability process happen through multilateral structures, international commitments will be actualised through individual states’ governance architecture. This requires a legal response, and most countries have now enacted some kind of climate legislation. However, these legal commitments need to be upheld, monitored and understood through legal and political institutions. This theme will focus on bringing together researchers interested in climate law at the national level, supporting country-specific investigations of how domestic climate governance – through law and institutional management – can support the achievement of climate mitigation and adaptation goals.

Meet the fellows

Saumya Kumar

Saumya Kumar

Tata Institute of Social Sciences  (TISS) - India

Saumya works as Assistant Professor for the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) Programme in Disaster Management. She coordinates and manages the programme and is responsible for educating humanitarian professionals from across the world. She also teaches courses on transboundary governance, and peace and conflict studies, for the MA/MSc in Disaster Management. Her areas of interest include disaster governance, disaster recovery, comparative law, international law, and peace and conflict studies. Saumya graduated from National Law University (NLU), in Jodhpur, India and completed her postgraduate studies at from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), in Kolkata, India. She specialised in international and comparative law. She is currently pursuing her PhD at TISS, focusing on disaster recovery policies in South Asia.

Meet the theme leads

Dr Kim Bouwer Headshot

Dr Kim Bouwer

Dr Bouwer is one of few recognised authorities in national climate change law, mostly working on climate litigation. She is currently developing her thinking about the interactions between national climate law and private rights in the courts, under contract with Cambridge University Press. Her ongoing research about these interactions, as well as her research leadership in the integration of climate change considerations in African legal systems and their interaction with UK domestic law, demonstrates her understanding of the importance of climate governance at the national level.