PUBLIC LAW AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS II
Panel formed with individual proposals.
The “Adaptive Law“ framework has been developed by several US scholars (e.g. DeCaro et al., 2017 - Arnold & Gunderson 2013) and basically explores how law could play a more effective role in preparing society for radical and disruptive socio-ecological developments, such as climate change. The theory was initiated in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy (2012), when experts realized that rebuilding after disasters is largely a legal challenge. Therefore, it was not only important to rethink the use of space, architecture and infrastructure to develop more resilience - also the legal and governance system needed to become more resilient and “adaptive“. This paper is aimed at examining how the Adaptive Law framework can be fine-tuned and tailored to help us to rethink how EU law and governance can become more resilient and more easily adaptive to change and to technological innovation. In doing so, the paper also draws on social science literature related to trust, change and uncertainty.
Following the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on the European front, the European Green Deal sets out the objective of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The financial sector is expected to play a key role in this respect and the ECB and EBA with its Action Plan on sustainable finance have a crucial role on the regulatory side. Is sustainable finance “simply“ green finance or does it include different considerations about social impact and governance? How does climate change relate to the broader sustainable development? Are the ESG considerations more suitable to reach a global sustainability and how is it possible to extend informally the European and International Financial Institution‘s mandate? At this regard, what is the lesson to be learnt by the de-facto extension, to human rights and gender-based violence, of the World Bank mandate?
Jurisdictions around the world are seeing the advent of a new frontier in rights claiming: challenges to governments‘ ongoing failure to address the climate catastrophe . Of particular note are cases coming from the generation condemned to a new climate reality through the willful blindness and faulty stewardship of the generation currently in power. So, youth challenges, leveraging traditional civil and political rights, ask for transcendence of complacency and complicity. Our paper brings together law, activism, and Indigenous resurgence to assess this development. Thoughtful calibration across these domains provides the best frame for leveraging tools of public law. The link between people and place, the connection between law and politics, the synergies of university and street, and, critically, the bonding of decolonization and environmental health undergird our analysis. Our commentary uses the La Rose (Canada) as illustration of and prompt for our conceptual framework.
Increasing number and volatility of nature catastrophes raised public awareness regarding consequences of climate change. Public debate that flared up with school strikes for climate did not only vocalize climate crisis. Young generations instigated critique of public institutions and officials. Their weak efforts to tackle the climate change were presented as inaction towards intergenerational solidarity. As a result climate change instigated also a crisis of trust towards public: policies, law & institutions. How to regain trust? What actions should be taken so that new actions under public policies are not seen as particularisms (and that they are not treated with even bigger distrust)? A complex response can be brought by taking into account new approaches towards public policies and public law. This paper aims at discussing proposals of new, even experimental, approaches that might allow shifting debate and regaining engagement into climate and environmental policies.