Table of Contents

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

The Search for Legal Remedies

Edited by Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk

Indigenous peoples occupy a unique niche within the climate justice movement, as many indigenous communities live subsistence lifestyles that are severely disrupted by the effects of climate change. Additionally, in many parts of the world, domestic law is applied differently to indigenous peoples than it is to their non-indigenous peers, further complicating the quest for legal remedies. The contributors to this book bring a range of expert legal perspectives to this complex discussion, offering both a comprehensive explanation of climate change-related problems faced by indigenous communities and a breakdown of various real world attempts to devise workable legal solutions. Regions covered include North and South America (Brazil, Canada, the US and the Arctic), the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (China and Nepal) and Africa (Kenya).

Chapter 2: Introduction to international and domestic climate change regulation

Deepa Badrinarayana

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, human rights, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights


An urgent need to avert the ‘tipping point’ is the primary driver of efforts to establish a legal framework for mitigating climate change. However, several interrelated challenges have plagued efforts to create a coherent and effective legal framework to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Notable among these are scientific uncertainty, questions of equity and the economic implications of regulation. The legal framework that nations have established to address climate change reflects an effort to reconcile these issues, but the compromise has produced laws that have little potential to address the catastrophic threats that climate change presents to humanity. Effective legal intervention to mitigate climate change must achieve a balance between scientific uncertainty, equity and economic implications of action. At the international level, two major efforts have been undertaken to date: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. At the domestic level, at least in the United States, legislative efforts have stalled and resulted in myriad regulatory efforts that have created patchwork climate action. This chapter provides an overview of international legal efforts that nations have undertaken in balancing competing interests in an effort to address climate change, as well as ongoing legal intervention in United States.

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