As the chapters in this Encyclopedia demonstrate, climate law is a dynamic and multidisciplinary field, implicating many diverse fields of law at all levels from municipal planning through multinational treaties. The outlines of an emerging global law can be discerned, including shared principles such as common but differentiated responsibility and also widely adopted instruments such as emissions trading. But it remains to be seen whether a mature climate change regime will be top-down, driven by a comprehensive global treaty, or polycentric, with many interacting sources of law. The Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015 is indicative of the latter trend. The role of the courts is still unclear, particularly the extent to which they will provide the impetus for government action. Future legal scholarship will need to address many crucial issues: identifying implemen- tation methods to translate the goals of climate law into concrete achievements, adapting other areas of law to cope with climate change, dealing with conflicting values such as cost-effectiveness versus human rights, and designing new mechanisms for the unprec- edented level of cooperation mandated by climate change.
|Series||Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law series|