Governing Climate Change: Towards a New Paradigm for Risk Regulation

28 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2011

See all articles by Veerle Heyvaert

Veerle Heyvaert

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: November 2011


This article argues that the ascent of climate change on the EU regulatory agenda signals a new era of risk regulation and calls for the establishment of a new paradigm for risk regulation. Climate change is altering the EU's conception of environmental risks and its design of regulatory responses. In contrast to conventional risk regulation, climate change regulation must prioritise the risks of business‐as‐usual over the risks of change, must target systemic change instead of stability, and must favour the virtues of integration and orchestration over those of individualisation and compartmentalisation. There is an important role for risk regulation scholarship to analyse this shift and its consequences for regulation, such as the relocation of legitimacy needs and the emergence of new risks of regulatory failure. Such an enterprise would both reinvigorate risk regulation scholarship and offer a vital contribution to the European Union as it tackles the momentous challenge of climate change governance.

Keywords: climate change, risk regulation, governance, eu law, environmental law

Suggested Citation

Heyvaert, Veerle, Governing Climate Change: Towards a New Paradigm for Risk Regulation (November 2011). Modern Law Review, Vol. 74, No. 6, November 2011, Available at SSRN: or

Veerle Heyvaert (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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