Climate Change & the Law

An Introduction to Climate Change and the Law

“How can global warming be real if winter this year is so cold? Isn’t this just a normal fluctuation in earth’s temperature? There’s nothing we can do about it anyway. It would hurt our economic interests too much to do anything about climate change. It’s not going to be a problem for a long time, …


How do we talk about climate change?

If you read the newspaper or watch the news, or even if you spend time talking about the environment or politics with those around you, you will likely have heard arguments about climate change. Whether it is real (it is), whether humans are exacerbating it (they are) and what we need to about it (lower …


So, what exactly is climate change?

During some of your past discussions about climate change, you may have also noticed that many people refer to this phenomenon as “global warming”. Although global warming is, in fact, a correct name, because the global average temperature is rising, it is also easily misunderstood. This misunderstanding comes from the common mix-up of climate and …


Climate change on an international scale

Next, let’s look at what has been happening on an international scale… The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed in 1992, was the first step towards future global climate change initiatives including the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015). The UNFCCC began by defining climate change as, “a change of …


Climate Change Law in Alberta

Now that you understand a bit more about what climate change is and how it’s being handled on a global scale, let’s take a closer look at what this means for environmental law. We’ll ask the difficult question what exactly IS climate change law and how can climate change law make a difference? Both Canada …


Climate Refugees

According to the 1951 United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, and the associated United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a refugee is defined as “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for …


Climate Litigation

You have probably already read our Constitutional Law section (if you haven’t yet, click here to do a quick review) and have familiarized yourself with some of the countries around the world that award some degree of constitutional protection to a healthy environment. This section will look at what other countries (often those without this …


Climate Case Studies

The effects of climate change can look quite different depending on where in the world you are.  To get a better sense of this, the next section will take a look at case studies in two very different places – both facing changes due to climate change but in different ways. Western Africa: The Sahel …


Section Review

Now that you have finished this section on Climate Change and the Law, you should be comfortable: Defining climate change Understanding the international agreements that help to influence climate change policy Identifying some of the ways that Alberta is attempting to introduce new climate change focused legislation Debating the options available to deal with future …


 

Climate Change & the Law

Curriculum Connections

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