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Environmental LawText, Cases & Materials

Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials (2nd edn)

Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, and Eloise Scotford
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date: 29 February 2024

p. 59918. Climate Change Lawlocked

p. 59918. Climate Change Lawlocked

  • Elizabeth Fisher, Elizabeth FisherProfessor of Environmental Law, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
  • Bettina LangeBettina LangeAssociate Professor of Law and Regulation, University of Oxford
  •  and Eloise ScotfordEloise ScotfordProfessor of Environmental Law, UCL


This chapter examines the fast-moving area of law relating to climate change. This includes a considerable body of public international law, from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the legally innovative Paris Agreement 2015. The chapter also considers legal developments at the EU and UK levels, which both contain a rich body of climate law and policy. The EU and the UK are both seen as ‘world leaders’ in climate law and policy. In EU law, this is due to the EU greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and the EU’s leadership in advocating ambitious greenhouse gas mitigation targets and in implementing these targets flexibly across the EU Member States through a range of regulatory mechanisms. The UK introduced path-breaking climate legislation in the Climate Change Act 2008, which provided an inspiring model of climate governance, legally entrenching long-term planning for both mitigation and adaptation. The chapter concludes with an exploration of climate litigation, a new and growing field of inquiry.

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