Damages for Climate Change

It would be no exaggeration to suggest that climate change is a hot topic these days.
Researchers will want to know that the Library of Congress Subject Headings uses the term climatic change, rather than the more common term climate change. JULIEN shows that our library has over 200 books on this topic. WorldCat, which provides searches to thousands of libraries worldwide, lists almost 30,000 books under the subject heading Climatic change.

As lawyers, our interests might be narrower than all climatic change books. Books that deal with the topic from a legal point of view appear in JULIEN under the heading climatic change–law and legislation; JULIEN lists 35 titles and Worldcat lists approximately 750 books.

What if your interest lies not merely with the laws and legislation that might counteract climate change, but in the damages that might be available for climate change? Few books deal with this topic, perhaps because a focus on damages might make people feel that the fight to prevent climate change is a lost cause.

Worldcat lists thirty two titles on Liability for climatic change damages, and five more on Liability for climatic change damages—Congresses.
JULIEN lists three for Liability for climatic change damages and 1 for Liability for climatic change damages—Congresses. The Library has recently acquired a new book in this area.
Ahmed, Tawhida, Stephen Farrall, and Duncan French. Criminological and Legal Consequences of Climate Change. Oxford: Hart Pub, 2012.

Edited by a criminology professor and two law professors, this book considers a broad range of climate change consequences. If indeed climate change is a phenomenon effecting great swathes of the world, a systemic view might prove fruitful. Much has been written on the effects of climate change on the environment and social issues, such as health or migration. But considerably less on the consequences of climate change for law and criminology.

Based on a 2010 seminar at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, the book raises issues such as:
• Will the increase risks of weather related environmental damage cause the costs of all types of insurance to rise?
• With an increase in environmental scarcity (e.g, water and food scarcity), effect the domestic and international laws on natural resources?
• Does greater environmental insecurity raise unique challenges to human rights law?
• What role will law play in the migration of capital and workers as some part so the world become geographically insecure due to climate change?

Carl Yirka