As sea levels rise, what happens to maritime rights?

Under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the distinction between land features which are above water at high tide and those which are below water determines whether a feature can be subject to sovereignty claims and whether it can generate maritime entitlement. Rising seas have legal and geopolitical implications as well.

What is clear from recent studies is that the acceleration in sea levels will continue even if all countries hit their 2015 Paris climate accord targets by 2030. PHOTO: AFP
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Nilufer Oral for The Straits Times

The June 24, 2019, cover of Time magazine dramatically featured United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres standing in knee-deep seawater, drawing attention to climate change and sea-level rise.

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