The Greatest Tragedy of All: Regulating the Atmosphere in a Climate of Indecision

14 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2010

See all articles by Donal R. Hamilton

Donal R. Hamilton

University College Dublin, School of Law

Date Written: August 5, 2010

Abstract

Climate change is a serious challenge to our planet. The point of no return will be upon us in 2014 and we are yet to regulate the emission of greenhouse gas. Failure to reach agreement at the 2009 UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen highlighted the difficulties we face in regulating use of the ultimate common pool recourse: our atmosphere. Surrounding these difficulties is the specter of an ideological debate between 'public' and 'private' that is as contentious as ever, and central to this contest is the problem of the free rider. This author will argue that in the long run, a global approach to climate change combining elements of privatization and public control is desirable. This is however proving difficult to achieve. It is contended that in the short term, the polycentric approach advocated by Elinor Ostrom is a desirable alternative and would be of benefit in developing proposals for a long-term solution.

Keywords: Climate Change, Regulation, Governance

JEL Classification: K20, K32, Q54

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Donal R., The Greatest Tragedy of All: Regulating the Atmosphere in a Climate of Indecision (August 5, 2010). Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 30/2010; UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper No. 33/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1653966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1653966

Donal R. Hamilton (Contact Author)

University College Dublin, School of Law ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
116
rank
225,749
Abstract Views
772
PlumX Metrics