Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism
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Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism

Edited by Jordi Jaria-Manzano and Susana Borrás

Climate change is causing traditional political and legal concepts to be revisited. The emergence of a global polity through physical, economic and social interaction demands global responses which should be founded upon new principles and which cannot simply be modelled on traditional constitutionalism centred on the nation-state. This Research Handbook explores how to build this climate constitutionalism at a global level, starting from the narrative of Anthropocene and its implications for law. It provides a critical approach to global environmental constitutionalism, analysing the problems of sustainability and global equity which are entwined with the causes and consequences of climate change. The Handbook explores how to develop constitutional discourses and strategies to address these issues, and thereby tackle the negative effects of climate change whilst also advancing a more sustainable, equitable and responsible global society.
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Chapter 16: Capitalocene, Thermocene and the Earth system: global law and connectivity in the Anthropocene age

Endrius Cocciolo

Abstract

This chapter discusses the role of global law and constitutionalism in the ecological transition to the Anthropocene, focusing on the energy and financial-economic systems, which hold a fundamental responsibility in the transformation of the Earth’s system and cycles beyond the favourable conditions of Holocene that were conducive to the development of societies. Against this background, the chapter advances the argument that an epistemological coupling between two different theoretical approaches – on one hand, the reformulation of system theory in terms of ‘constitutionalization of connectivity’, as proposed by Poul Kjaer; and on the other, the new materialist onto-epistemologies – is both possible and useful. The reasoning for this coupling takes as its starting point the idea that the latter theoretical approach provides a specific focus on foundation and normative density; while the former brings a refined theory on the function of global law and the metamorphosis of constitutionalism. It is argued that, given the complexity faced by law in the Anthropocene era, the capacity of global legal norms to increase the probability of connectivity across diverse, legally entrenched contexts seems crucial. Earth system law emerges in response to this call for a new understanding of the role of law in the global realm, in order to facilitate the stabilization of social reproduction and to make its governance and production structures compatible with the Earth system.

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