The increasing effects of climate change are affecting oceans in ways that were not previously anticipated, posing unprecedented challenges for the law of the sea. It is important to examine how the law of the sea is affected and challenged by the effects of climate change. Such awareness is reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, Goal 13 commits governments to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and Goal 14 commits governments to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

As part of its engagement in the broader sphere of ocean governance, CIL intends to examine the interaction between climate change and the law of the sea, including exploring mechanisms through which the legal framework could address or adapt to the impacts of climate change and how elements of the law of the sea might be used as tools to mitigate or manage such impacts.