Climate Change Liability

Climate Change Liability

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Edited by Michael Faure and Marjan Peeters

This book sheds new light on the growing issue of using liability as a tool for both preventing and compensating for the damage caused by climate change. Michael Faure and Marjan Peeters have brought together a selection of expert contributors who explore a variety of both national and European perspectives on the topic.

Chapter 11: Governmental Liability: An Incentive for Appropriate Adaptation?

Ben Schueier

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, energy law, environmental law


Ben Schueler 1. INTRODUCTION In this chapter, I will explore the possibilities of using a national system of governmental liability as an incentive for appropriate adaptation to climate change. Liability systems are supposed to stimulate actors to take the right decisions, because these actors are expected to limit their responsibility for compensation. Thus, the existence of liability for unlawful decisions would seem to provide an impulse to take the right decisions. I will focus on the Dutch system of governmental liability. The analysis of the Dutch liability system may serve as a case study in order to demonstrate the problems that may arise in relation to the use of governmental liability as an instrument to stimulate measures to prevent climate change damage. There are several good reasons to focus on Dutch law. The Netherlands is a low-lying country, for a large part below sea-level. The threat of a rising sea-level is taken as a serious and concrete political and technical problem, both by the government and by other parties within Dutch society. Furthermore, the Netherlands is a delta where a number of important river basins come together: those of the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt. There is danger from all sides – even from above, as excessive rainfall is one of the predicted effects of climate change in the future. Another reason to explore the Dutch situation is the well-developed system of governmental liability. This system is based on two different principles: fault and equal treatment. Liability based on fault...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information