Climate Change Law: The Emergence of a New Legal Discipline
Melbourne Law School
March, 28 2012
Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2008
In recent times the issue of climate change has been catapulted to the forefront of scientific and policy agendas. Climate change threatens wide-ranging impacts on ecosystems and presents enormous challenges for conventional modes of socio-economic governance. Against this backdrop, the last few years have seen the consolidation of a body of legal rules and principles organised around the central problem of mitigating and adapting to climate change. The new climate change law spans from international to local levels of governance and encompasses the activities of a wide range of actors, including governments, businesses and non-governmental environmental groups. This article surveys the scope of the new discipline of climate change law, providing a synopsis of its primary component areas. It also elaborates the main challenges climate change law is likely to face as its development proceeds apace, such as coping with internationalisation of the greenhouse problem, ensuring avenues for widespread participation in climate change regulation, and integrating governance and regulatory frameworks across political and disciplinary boundaries. How climate change law responds to this last challenge, in particular, is likely to be determinative of its effectiveness and cohesiveness as a body of law for dealing with the broad predicted impacts of global warming.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 92
Keywords: climate change, climate change law, governance
JEL Classification: K00, K19, K39, N50Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 29, 2012
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