Collaborative Research Networks

CRN57  Law and Climate Change


Mario Gomes Schapiro, Vitor Martins Dias

This CRN seeks to bring together scholars from law and the social sciences interested in socio-legal issues related to climate change, which is arguably the governance and regulatory challenge of this century. Global environmental change has been associated with sea-level rise and changing rainfall patterns, posing legal, political, and social challenges for governments, financial systems, private organizations, individuals, and civil society at the local level. The immediate impacts of climate change include but are not limited to extreme urban floods and rural droughts. Historically-disadvantaged populations, in turn, are facing even more frequent rights violations aggravated by climate hazards. Corporations, at the same time, are dealing with the increasing unpredictability of environmental conditions essential to conducting their businesses. And, the financial sector has to cope with the double threat of stranded assets and economic uncertainties related to the transition toward a green economy. In this context, one question motivates this CRN: How can regulatory and governance institutions be devised for the equitable and effective mitigation of and adaption to climate change between and within countries?

While the LSA community has been active in addressing similar problems since the environmental justice movement first gained momentum, its interest in the emerging climate justice movement is starting to flourish. Moreover, there are other dimensions of climate change impacts that affect law in society, although in an indirect fashion. For instance, this is the case of potential financial or economic crises triggered by climate-related risks. This CRN is timely by fostering social-legal scholars’ engagement in shaping the transition from environmental toward climate justice studies across disciplines within the field of law and society. The research focus of this CRN is on regulatory and governance aspects of climate change in light of state, society, and market structures, processes, and actors. Its scope is also broad by promoting scholarship that links global environmental affairs to local climate politics, proposing a multilevel approach to analyzing supra- and sub-national institutions governing and regulating climate-related impacts around the world. The CRN, in sum, has the goal of establishing a network of scholars from an array of disciplines and nations whose agendas range from climate finance, to green washing, to the regulatory parameters of sustainable investing, to access to justice among the victims of climate change, to rights-mobilization against climate injustice, to climate refugees, to the polycentric governance of climate affairs, to sustainable governance generally speaking.


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