The Search for Environmental Justice
Show Less

The Search for Environmental Justice

Edited by Paul Martin, Sadeq Z. Bigdeli, Trevor Daya-Winterbottom, Willemien du Plessis and Amanda Kennedy

This is an extended and remarkable excursus into the evolving concept of environmental justice. This key book provides an overview of the major developments in the theory and practice of environmental justice and illustrates the direction of the evolution of rights of nature. The work exposes the diverse meanings and practical uses of the concept of environmental justice in different jurisdictions, and their implications for the law, society and the environment.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 6: No private property rights in the atmosphere

Ben France-Hudson


The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (‘NZ ETS’) does not create private property rights in either the atmosphere or greenhouse gases. Neither does it confer a private property right to emit greenhouse gases. Rather, it employs a very restricted private property right that can only be used for an extremely limited range of purposes. In particular, the primary purpose of the private property right at the heart of the regime is simply to enable its holder to discharge a liability that arises as a consequence of undertaking activities that result in greenhouse gas emissions. This observation is important because it addresses the criticism that environmental management regimes which employ private property to solve the tragedy of the commons actually create ‘rights to pollute’. The structure of the NZ ETS neatly avoids creating such a right and this suggests that the risks associated with using private property as a tool of environmental management can be ameliorated. More generally, the way the NZ ETS utilises private property indicates that private property itself may be far more flexible than is often acknowledged. This may provide a further source of support for a number of modern property law theories that stress private property’s essentially social function.

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

or login to access all content.