In this mix, international legal instruments are crucial. The existing tools lack the necessary jurisdiction, clout and transparency. The time is ripe for a serious consideration of an international court for the environment. Such a court was mooted in Washington in 1999, but sank without trace. Today, however, we cannot afford to drop the ball.
Ideally, such a court would be compulsory and would include a convention on the right to a healthy environment and deliver transparency in access to data and in its proceedings. It would include a scientific body to assess technical issues and a mechanism to avoid "forum shopping" – that is, litigants taking their pick of the most propitious court available.
So, the fact that 192 countries cannot get together and agree an international treaty on climate change means that 192 countries should get together and give up a great deal more of their soveriegnty? The failure of the former meaning that the latter is even possible?