Local Climate Change Law
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Local Climate Change Law

Environmental Regulation in Cities and Other Localities

Edited by Benjamin J. Richardson

This timely study offers a multi-jurisdictional perspective, featuring international contributors who examine both theoretical and practical dimensions of how localities are addressing climate mitigation and adaptation in Australia, Canada, China, Europe, South Africa and the United States, as well as considering the place of localities in global climate law agreements and transnational networks.
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Chapter 1: Local Climate Change Law

Benjamin J. Richardson


Benjamin J. Richardson* 1. INTRODUCTION This book is about climate change law at the local level. The ‘local’ refers to the role of local governments, municipalities and city authorities in addressing climate change, through law, as well as policies, plans, voluntary codes and associated methods of governance. This book focuses on the role of public local authorities and does not examine the role of corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community groups or other potential stakeholders in local climate action, except incidentally and in a case study of indigenous local self-government. Both climate mitigation (actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions) and adaptation (measures to minimize the adverse impact of climate change) are considered in this book. Efforts to deal with climate change increasingly recognize that cities, on the one hand, are significant hubs of economic activity and major contributors to GHG emissions, but, on the other hand, are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels and heat island effects due to their infrastructure and highly concentrated populations. It is also acknowledged that municipal administrations that govern cities and other localities can help address climate change.1 Examining how localities do and should address these facets of climate change, the book offers diverse international perspectives from 15 contributors. Many of them assess developments in North America, reflecting the fact that the papers for this volume came from a Canadian workshop held at the University of British Columbia in October 2011. Local climate law trends are also...

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