Environmental Regulation in Cities and Other Localities
Edited by Benjamin J. Richardson
Chapter 12: Legal Frameworks for Local Adaptation in Australia: The Role of Local Government in Water Governance in a Climate Change Era
Lee Godden* 1. INTRODUCTION As the complexities of climate change impacts unfold, it is clear that legal systems, such as that in Australia, face particular challenges in the local sphere. Climate science provides general guidance on climate change impacts, and that knowledge is growing more precise, but there remain substantial areas of uncertainty at local levels. Accordingly, local climate change law will play an important role in fostering effective and dynamic localized mitigation and adaptation. Some mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be achieved at the local level, and indeed within Australia some mitigation measures around renewable technologies and energy efficiency have been locally implemented. It is clear though, that the key drivers for mitigation will occur primarily through national and State law and policy, especially now that Australia has introduced a national carbon pricing scheme/emissions trading scheme.1 Conversely, the focus of adaptation policy is largely at local and regional scales, ‘these will be the scales at which adaptation must be conceived, implemented and realised’.2 For these reasons, the chapter focuses predominately upon adaptation when discussing * The author acknowledges the funding provided by the Australian Research Council Grant, DP0987850 Responding to Climate Change: Australia’s Environmental Law and Regulatory Framework. 1 Clean Energy Act 2011 (Cth). For an overview, see Lisa Caripis et al., ‘Notes from the Field: Australia’s Carbon Pricing Mechanism’ (2011) 2 Climate Law 583). 2 Anne Leitch, Ben Harman and Marcus Lane, ‘From Blueprint to Footprint: Climate Change and the Challenge for Planning’ in Tim Bonyhady, Andrew...
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