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Christina Voigt and Zen Makuch
Across the globe, environmental protection is in need of strong governance arrangements: arrangements that comprise effective environmental laws and regulations, a functioning administration and an independent judiciary. Courts, often perceived as the third pillar of power alongside the legislative and executive functions of the State, have an important role to play in defending, upholding and (for judicial activists) creating an environmental rule of law. At the same time, many courts and their judges face significant challenges in doing so effectively. This volume looks at the possibilities and limitations that courts and judges encounter in protecting the environment. Norms that seek to protect the environment, and the common values it represents, are widely dispersed. We find them in thousands of domestic laws and regulations; we find them in international and regional treaties and unwritten customary laws. Sometimes we do not find them at all.
Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold
This chapter describes the structural roles that law plays to facilitate adaptation to climate disasters, as well as the features of adaptive legal systems. Climate disasters highlight the need for legal systems to help human communities and environmental systems to adapt to climate change and climate disasters. However, adaptation won’t be possible unless legal systems themselves are adaptive. The chapter discusses four changes that would make legal systems more adaptive: greater flexibility; use of law for transformation; a revolutionary evolution in the law; and an intentional focus on justice, including climate justice, disaster justice, and most especially resilience justice.
Climate change impacts on agriculture are diverse and potentially disastrous for global food security. This chapter analyzes the main issues law and policymakers at the international and the domestic level should focus on when developing a legal framework that is sufficiently equipped to deal with climate disasters affecting agriculture. Three stages are distinguished: disaster mitigation, in which focus should be on adoption and implementation of climate-smart practices and technologies; disaster response, mainly aimed at food supply; compensation and rebuilding, aimed at creating a more resilient agricultural sector that is better suited to deal with the next climate disaster.
Teresa Parejo-Navajas and Michael B. Gerrard
This chapter examines the most important existing regulatory and policy measures to improve the resiliency and adaptive capacity of all types of residential and commercial buildings, both new and existing. It considers how buildings should be modified to cope with climate-related extreme events. Building codes and other legal requirements often lag seriously behind the need to revise them, and most builders do not go beyond what the codes require. Climate projections involve a wide uncertainty range, and protection against the worst case scenarios may be beyond the economic capacity of all but a few owners. Particular attention is paid to slums, and to provisional and post-disaster housing.