Home » Climate Change Adaptation » Tracking Climate Change Adaptation Law

Tracking Climate Change Adaptation Law

Recently I posted on my SSRN site A Summary of Present and Future Climate Adaptation Law, which is to be published as a chapter in the forthcoming second edition of the American Bar Association Press book Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (first edition here), edited by Michael Gerrard of Columbia University Law School and Jody Freeman of Harvard Law School. In anticipation of the inevitable shift from adaptation planning to adaptation action, the chapter provides a background on climate change adaptation policy and a survey of climate impacts and adaptation responses likely to put some pressure on legal institutions and rules to change. The chapter opens by defining the key terms and concepts of climate change adaptation as it has been discussed in major policy analyses. The chapter then summarizes the scope and focus of federal, state, local, tribal, and private climate change adaptation planning initiatives. From there, the chapter reviews the current law of climate change adaptation, which is not yet extensive. What few morsels of legal initiative exist break down into five types: (1) coastal land use controls; (2) environmental impact assessment programs; (3) corporate disclosure requirements; (4) endangered species protection; and (5) anti-adaptation measures The chapter closes with a survey of the potential legal issues climate change adaptation could spark, organized into five categories: (1) land and resources; (2) infrastructure; (3) business disputes and regulation; (4) health and safety concerns; and (5) governance and process. In coming posts I will explore each of those five categories of future climate adaptation law in more detail.


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