Climate disruption is attributable to historical and current day modes of production and consumption. Enduring solutions will require significant shifts in how modern societies are governed. Governance, in this context, is unlikely to succeed without attention to related priorities of sustainability, justice, and cohesion. Yet there is ample evidence that many leaders and institutions are unable or unwilling to address the challenge effectively.
This seminar explores legal and policy issues related to efforts to control the causes and respond to the impacts of climate disruption. It approaches the topic from an interdisciplinary perspective that considers law, science, politics, economics, and history. The seminar is concerned with how these perspectives can support pragmatic strategies in different areas of law and policy and at different levels of decision-making.
The seminar has two thematic segments. The first segment will examine the historical, political, economic, and scientific background within which the modern problem of climate disruption has arisen. This segment will also provide a broad survey of the major international legal regimes that have been developed to address the problem.
The second segment will focus on analyzing legal and institutional barriers to pragmatic action towards forestalling climate disruption and mitigating its impact on society. Particular attention will be paid to core societal functions such as food production, land management, water and wastewater infrastructure, energy, transportation, and communications. Students will have the opportunity to do their research in a relevant area.