Tag Archives: mitigation

Climate Change Adaptation and the Structural Transformation of Environmental Law (J. B. Ruhl)

Author(s)

J. B. Ruhl

Keywords

climate change, environmental law, greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation, mitigation, policy, pollution, land law, decision methods, regulation, conciliation

Abstract

The path of environmental law has come to a cliff called climate change, and there is no turning around. As climate change policy dialogue emerged in the 1990s, however, the perceived urgency of attention to mitigation strategies designed to regulate sources of greenhouse gas emissions quickly snuffed out meaningful progress on the formulation of adaptation strategies designed to respond to the effects of climate change on humans and the environment. Only recently has this “adaptation deficit” become a concern now actively included in climate change policy debate. Previously treating talk of adaptation as taboo, the climate change policy world has begrudgingly accepted it into the fold as the reality of failed efforts to achieve global mitigation policy has combined with the scientific evidence that committed warming will continue the trend of climate change well into the future regardless of mitigation policy success.

But do not expect adaptation policy to play out for environmental law the way mitigation policy has and is likely to continue. Mitigation policy has been framed as an initiative primarily within the domain of environmental law – a form of pollution control on steroids – and thus it will be environmental law that makes the first move and other policy realms that apply support or pushback. By contrast, environmental law does not “own” adaptation policy; rather, numerous policy fronts will compete simultaneously for primacy and priority as people demand protection from harms and enjoyment of benefits that play out as climate change moves relentlessly forward. This makes it all the more pressing for environmental law, early in the nation’s formulation of adaptation policy, to find its voice and establish its place in the effort to close the adaptation deficit.

Toward that purpose, this Article examines the context and policy dynamics of climate change adaptation and identifies ten trends that will have profound normative and structural impacts on how environmental law fits in: 1) Shift in emphasis from preservationism to transitionalism in natural resources conservation policy. 2) Rapid evolution of property rights and liability rules associated with natural capital adaptation resources. 3) Accelerated merger of water law, land use law, and environmental law. 4) Incorporation of a human rights dimension in climate change adaptation policy. 5) Catastrophe and crisis avoidance and management as an overarching adaptation policy priority. 6) Frequent reconfigurations of trans-policy linkages and trade-offs at all scales and across scales. 7) Shift from “front end” decision methods relying on robust predictive capacity to “back end” decision methods relying on active adaptive management. 8) Greater variety and flexibility in regulatory instruments 9) Increased reliance on multi-scalar governance networks. 10) Conciliation.

Citation

(2009) 40 Environmental Law 343

Paper

Climate Change Adaptation and the Structural Transformation of Environmental Law

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The Janus-Head of Human Rights and Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation (O. W. Pedersen)

Author(s)

Ole W. Pedersen

Keywords

Climate Change, Human Rights, Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, Clean Development Mechanism, Kyoto Protocol, Risk Assessment, Adaptation, Mitigation

Abstract

This article examines the role human rights instruments play when states seek to adopt regulatory initiatives in the name of addressing climate change. The article argues that a series of important restrictions exist. Governments responding to climate change need to take into account existing human rights. This observation is particularly relevant for countries implementing Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects and for countries taking part in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under the Kyoto Protocol. The article likewise argues that special human rights obligations arise in relation to the risks associated with climate change. These place on states a responsibility to secure risk assessment and risk communication while taking steps to mitigate climate change-associated risks. While the article considers these requirements to constitute an absolute minimum, it is argued that they can offer a way of securing that national governments are accountable when it comes to climate change responses. On the other hand, it will be shown that these human rights restrictions will sometimes have the potential to run counter to the adoption of effective climate change responses.

Citation

(2011) 80 Nordic Journal of International law 403-423

Paper

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A Human Rights-Based Approach to Climate Change (M. Orellana)

Author(s)

Marcos A. Orellana

Keywords

Human rights, Climate Change, Training, Education, International Human Rights Law, Policy, Development, Adaptation, Mitigation, Capacity Building

Excerpt

Introduction

This paper explores human rights standards and mechanisms
relevant to addressing climate change, with a focus on human
rights training and education. It also discusses how climate change
policies and measures can affect a wide range of human rights
recognized by international human rights law. Additionally, this
paper analyzes how a human rights-based approach can help to
integrate human rights standards into climate change policy and
development cooperation to achieve effective and equitable implementation of human rights. Finally, it concludes that human rights training and education effectively contribute to the development of capacities, for both rights-holders and duty-bearers; ensure a basic understanding of human rights law; and, integrate human rights standards into climate change policy.

This paper first discusses the human rights-based approach to
development and climate change respectively. Next, it analyzes how
a wide range of human rights are affected by the physical impacts of
climate change as well as by adaptation and mitigation measures.
Then it will discuss the importance of the linkages between human
rights and climate change for the purposes of addressing human
rights violations caused by climate change; protecting the human
rights of vulnerable groups; and, facilitating international cooperation in protecting human rights from climate change. Finally, the paper concludes that human rights training and education can contribute to achieving the effective and equitable realization of human rights in the face of climatic uncertainties.

Citation

(2012) The Human Rights-Based Approach: A Field of Action for Human Rights Education, pp53-63 (Geneva: Cifedhop)

Paper

A Human Rights-Based Approach to Climate Change

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No Need to Reinvent the Wheel for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Tackling Climate Change: The Contribution of International Biodiversity Law (E. Morgera)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera

Keywords

human rights, biodiversity law, climate change, livelihood, ecosystems, mitigation, adaptation, international law, international biodiversity regime, international climate change regime, implementation

Abstract

This chapter provides a systematic analysis of the ways in which international biodiversity law contributes to the fight against climate change by assessing and preventing the negative impacts on biodiversity and community livelihoods of measures to address climate change (‘response measures’), and adopting the ecosystem approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In highlighting readily available legal avenues for ensuring the mutual supportiveness of the international biodiversity regime and the international climate change regime, the chapter argues that positive interaction between the two regimes can promote a human rights-based approach to the development of the international climate change regime and its implementation at the national level.

Citation

(2013) 21 IUS Gentium 359

Paper

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Tackling Climate Change: The Contribution of International Biodiversity Law

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Human Rights Implications for Climate Change Negotiations (D. B. Hunter)

Author(s)

David B. Hunter

Keywords

human rights implications of climate change, climate change negotiations, United States, mitigation, adaptation, human rights approach

Abstract

EXTRACT

“According to John Holdren, the Science Advisor to President Obama, humanity can only respond to climate change in three ways. We can mitigate climate change, for example by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; we can adapt to climate change, for example by defending our coastlines; or we can suffer from climate change.

Given current emission levels and projected climate change impacts, we are inevitably going to do some of all three. A human rights approach, the subject of this Article, puts the focus on those who will suffer from climate change, in the hopes of building the political will to compel humanity to put more resources into both adapting and mitigating climate change.”

Citation

(2009) 11 Oregon Review of International Law 331

Paper

Human Rights Implications for Climate Change Negotiations

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