A Critical Overview
- New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Chapter 8: Implementation issue 4: Lawsuits following from emissions trading
The preceding chapters have made clear that whenever a policy measure is taken there will be stakeholders who are pleased and some who are not. This chapter seeks to present some of the legal challenges that have arisen in the context of emissions trading design, in particular in relation to climate change. The reason why we have chosen to extend the chapter to cover climate change litigation rather than confine it to emission design issues is because emissions trading is simply an expression of a wider policy. Emissions trading will frequently be employed in conjunction with other measures. Challenges to one element of a nation's climate change policy may impact on other elements, including an ETS. Climate change litigation is a fairly recent phenomenon. The first of such cases emerged in the United States in 1990, and in recent years there has been an increase in the number of cases touching upon climate change issues. Even though such claims are now more widely accepted by the courts, there are still cases where the underlying scientific evidence is questioned. It is noticeable that the cases in which climate change is touched upon become more and more diverse. Given the diversity of the issues and the proliferation of existing and emerging schemes, it is not possible to present a complete overview of all legal issues in one brief chapter.
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