The role of law in responding to climate change : emerging regulatory, liability and market approaches

Durrant, Nicola Anna May (2008) The role of law in responding to climate change : emerging regulatory, liability and market approaches. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Climate change presents as the archetypal environmental problem with short-term economic self-interest operating to the detriment of the long-term sustainability of our society. The scientific reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change strongly assert that the stabilisation of emissions in the atmosphere, to avoid the adverse impacts of climate change, requires significant and rapid reductions in ‘business as usual’ global greenhouse gas emissions. The sheer magnitude of emissions reductions required, within this urgent timeframe, will necessitate an unprecedented level of international, multi-national and intra-national cooperation and will challenge conventional approaches to the creation and implementation of international and domestic legal regimes. To meet this challenge, existing international, national and local legal systems must harmoniously implement a strong international climate change regime through a portfolio of traditional and innovative legal mechanisms that swiftly transform current behavioural practices in emitting greenhouse gases. These include the imposition of strict duties to reduce emissions through the establishment of strong command and control regulation (the regulatory approach); mechanisms for the creation and distribution of liabilities for greenhouse gas emissions and climaterelated harm (the liability approach) and the use of innovative regulatory tools in the form of the carbon trading scheme (the market approach). The legal relations between these various regulatory, liability and market approaches must be managed to achieve a consistent, compatible and optimally effective legal regime to respond to the threat of climate change. The purpose of this thesis is to analyse and evaluate the emerging legal rules and frameworks, both international and Australian, required for the effective regulation of greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change in the context of the urgent and deep emissions reductions required to minimise the adverse impacts of climate change. In doing so, this thesis will examine critically the existing and potential role of law in effectively responding to climate change and will provide recommendations on the necessary reforms to achieve a more effective legal response to this global phenomenon in the future.

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ID Code: 48907
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Fisher, Douglas & Grace, Peter
Additional Information: Recipient of 2008 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Keywords: climate change, climate law, climate liabilities, carbon trading, environmental governance, environmental law, environmental policy, international law, ODTA
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 29 Feb 2012 03:00
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 01:33

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