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A conversation with legal scholars Usha Nataraja and Julia Dehm on international law’s inadequacy in face of the climate crisis

In the fourth and last episode of the first season of the Carbon Critique podcast series, we have two guests. Usha Nataraja is Edward W. Said Fellow at Columbia University and International Schulich Visiting Scholar at Dalhousie University. She employs postcolonial and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) in her interdisciplinary research to offer a holistic comprehension of the correlation among development, environment, migration, and conflict. Our second guest is Professor Julia Dehm. She is a Senior Lecturer at the La Trobe Law School. Through her scholarly work, she tackles pressing matters concerning environmental law in climate change on both international and domestic spheres, as well as issues surrounding natural resource management, human rights, economic disparities, and social justice. 

We talked to them about the new book that they have edited for Cambridge University Press, “Locating Nature: Making and Unmaking International Law.” This edited collection questions how international lawyers have understood the environment, and how they have attempted to govern it. The book argues that re-examining international law assumptions about the natural world is an urgent and necessary step for addressing crucial environmental challenges such as climate change, mass extinction, deforestation, desertification, and pollution. In this interview, we talk about the process of writing the book, the current understanding of nature and the environment in international law, exercise of anthropocentric power and modes of governing nature, marketizing carbon reduction and environmental protection, and the complex relation of human rights and the ecological crises. 

You can find the English transcription of the interview here and the German translation here.

You can listen to the fourth episode on Spotify, SoundClound and Apple Podcast.