Professor Elizabeth Kirk, of the Lincoln Centre for Ecological Justice and Lincoln Law School, joined Prof Des Fitzgerald, University of Exeter and Prof Tanya Wyatt, University of Northumbria to talk about all things environmental law on the BBC Radio 3 Green Thinking Podcast this week.

Professor Kirk discussed the challenges of making and enforcing environmental law, drawing examples from AHRC funded research on the regulation of offshore oil and gas installations in the Arctic, promotion of energy efficiency measures, and tackling plastics pollution and the climate crisis. The discussion drew out the challenges of making laws that are suitable to address a rapidly changing environment, the need for clear standard setting to address greenhouse gas emissions and the need for independent inspection and enforcement mechanisms to hold States to account for breaches of their international obligations.

When asked what she would like to see as the outcome from COP26, Professor Kirk suggested that rather than asking States to commit to overarching reductions in greenhouse gases, we need clear standards on, for example, insulation for homes and on emissions from transport and indeed transport planning, or, at the very least, a mechanism to establish such standards.